I am pleased to note additional support for the next generation of entrepreneurs which the government has announced. The Start-up Loans scheme is to receive a £30million boost taking the total pot to over £110million over the next three years. In addition, the upper age limit for those who can apply for loans has been raised from 24 to 30 years.
In the three months the scheme has been live, over £1.5million worth of loans have been approved, benefiting over 460 start-up businesses. Throughout January, around 100 new businesses are expected to reach approval stage each week with many more benefiting in the coming months.
This is a great scheme to help the next generation of entrepreneurs get the financial help – and the confidence – to turn that spark of an idea into a business. I am a big advocate of reforming our banks to they give small businesses the lending support they need, in the mean time this is a great scheme to help entrepreneurs.
Start-up Loans are just one of many ways this Government is taking action to ensure SMEs get the finance they need to grow. The Enterprise Finance Guarantee has helped 2,100 small firms to obtain bank finance, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme encourages investment in small and early-stage companies and, since May 2010, Enterprise Capital Funds have invested more than £90million in over 70 companies.