June 01, 2012
Thanks to a new £82.5 million StartUp Loan scheme, aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-24 years old will be able to get access to finance, support and training to start their own business.
StartUp loans of £2,500 will be available to any young person with a credible business plan, at peppercorn rates and with a repayment period of up to five years.
The new Government scheme was launched alongside Lord Young’s independent report on enterprise. Lord Young said: “Many young people already have the drive and ambition to create a business, yet don’t know how to put this into action. The new StartUp Loan will mean that thousands of young people can now get access to advice and funding.”
The scheme is part of the Government’s drive to boost entrepreneurship. According to Lord Young’s report, if the UK had the same rates of entrepreneurship as the United States, the UK would have 900,000 more businesses.
Compared with the Bolton Report of 1971, which suggested that small businesses were in long-term decline in the UK, the message from Lord Young’s report is that it is now easier than ever to start your own business.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I want this to be the year where people can think yes, I can do it, that we can get as many viable businesses as possible off the ground, that people can have a go, and that we see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs who start small but think big.
“StartUp Loans are a fantastic opportunity for young people, not only to get the financial support they need, but also to give them the confidence to believe they can do it, that they can turn that spark of an idea into the next global brand.”
The Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) has teamed up with the Government by offering free access to its online Credit Control Guide and discounted membership to successful applicants for StartUp Loans.
The FPB’s senior policy adviser, Phil McCabe, said: “We think this new Government initiative is a fantastic opportunity to get the young Richard Branson’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s of the UK to have a go.
“With bank lending still scarce, this initiative is a viable alternative for entrepreneurs who might be having problems accessing finance from a high-street lender. Of course the beauty of this scheme is that for those firms that don’t do well, they won’t have to pay the loan back.”