Thumbs up to a programme supporting would-be entrepreneurs

A government funded programme to enable 10 exceptional business owners to pass on their expertise to budding entrepreneurs along with access to a government grant is a great idea.

Through a network of Delivery Partner organisations, the Start Up Loans programme, now in its fourth year,  provides pre-loan support to help applicants to develop a business plan; a fixed-interest loan of up to £25,000 to start or develop their business; as well as mentoring support to help loan recipients with everything from cash flow to marketing. Since 2012, the programme has delivered more than 67,000 loans to business owners across the UK amounting to more than £534 million. Of those who received a loan, four in 10 (40%) were women; more than one in five (22%) were people from black and minority ethnic communities; and more than a third (35%) were previously unemployed, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.

I know from personal experience how difficult it is to set up a business from scratch and how important it is to listen to the advice and experiences of others who have fulfilled their ambition of becoming their own boss. I’d advise anyone who has a germ of an idea for a business to find out more. It’s businesses like these that become the backbone of our economy and I fully support it.

Among the ambassadors selected to champion this programme delivered by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, is a former soldier who used his service experience to set up a telecoms company for the construction industry, the founder of a sportswear brand designed specifically for pregnant women and a marine biologist in Newcastle who turned his fascination with the sea into a business manufacturing products made from seaweed. The year-long programme will see Ambassadors take part in a series of local and national activities, where they will offer advice to other aspiring business owners about becoming their own boss.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans, said: “All of our Ambassadors’ stories demonstrate the passion and grit it takes to set up a successful business. We’re incredibly proud of everything they have achieved and wish them even greater success in the future. Starting a business isn’t easy and many people give up at the first hurdle; however, these Ambassadors show if you have a good idea and access to the right support, funding and advice, anything is possible.”


For more information about Start Up Loans, please visit:


Picture : Lord Smith (Chair) Keith Morgan (CEO) British Business Bank and Kevin Hollinrake MP