Government-funded programme to help British entrepreneurs and startups has supported 20,000 loans so far, moving beyond £100 million and significantly helping previously unemployed people.
Founded in 2012 by Lord Young and chaired by entrepreneur James Caan, the Start-Up Loans scheme aims to help those with creative and innovative ideas who lack the finance to realise them.
It was estimated that by supporting the sector, 900,000 more jobs could potentially be created in the UK.
The scheme has a target of supporting 30,000 businesses with £151 million by 2015 and has now reached an important landmark, with 20,000 loans sent out, accounting for £100,000.
Chairman James Caan said, “This significant milestone is a great example of all the good work the team at the Start Up Loans Company are doing to help aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages across the country realise their dreams.
“We are proud to be part of Britain’s economic revival and we will continue to strive to help the scheme grow. Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before we are celebrating the 30,000th loan.”
The goal was reached after a female entrepreneur in Stratford-upon-Avon received a £6,000 loan for her project to make Shakespeare accessible to children through animation.
Business secretary Vince Cable commented, “The economic hardship we’ve experienced over the last few years has not stopped the flow of business ideas and people wanting to start up their own companies.
“This British entrepreneurial spirit, backed by our loan scheme, will help create the iconic companies of the future. Reaching this milestone shoes how fertile the ground is for enterprise.”
Business Minister Matthew Hancock added he hoped to make Britain “the best place in the world to start and grow a business”.
The average loan amount is £5,333. More than 40% of those applying for the funds said they were unemployed before setting up their own business.
Photo: images of money via flickr