New fund offers helping hand to young entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs are set to benefit from an £80 million-plus fund designed to help up to 30,000 businesses get off the ground.

The £82.5 million StartUp Loan scheme, launched on 28 May, will give young people aged 18-24 access to support to help them develop a business plan and to training.

Where the business plan is approved, they will be have the chance to receive a loan, typically of around £2,500, with a repayment period of up to five years, to help them launch their new enterprise.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “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 of an idea into the next global brand.”

StartUp loans will be run by a range of organisations experienced in working with young people, including the Prince’s Trust and Manchester-based Economic Solutions Group. They will be responsible for providing start-up support, for assessing the business plan, for making the loan and managing repayment.

Young people interested in the StartUp loans scheme can register at

The launch of the scheme came on the day that Lord Young published his report, Make Business Your Business, which says that if the UK had the same rates of entrepreneurship as in the US, there would be 900,000 more businesses in this country.

In his report, Lord Young highlights the strength, diversity and growth of small businesses in the UK in recent years and says that with the growth of the internet and the government and private sector support available, it is now easier than ever to start a business.

He said “Thirty years ago small businesses were in decline, now we have record numbers, with many tens of thousands starting each year, they are the engine room of our economy and critical to future economic growth.”

In 2011, there was a record number of business start-ups, with more than 450,000 becoming their own boss. The UK has 4.13 million self-employed people and 4.5 million small and medium-sized businesses

Link:Lord Young’s report on enterprise