When you are thinking of starting out in business for the first time, you need all the support and assistance you can call upon. As well as being exciting, it can be daunting, challenging and in some cases a lonely place to be, especially if you don’t know who to turn to for assistance.
Keen to encourage entrepreneurial activity and for the private sector to assist with enhancing the UK economy, the government has backed a number of initiatives, including the Start Up Loans scheme, in the hope of seeing more people start a business.
What is the Start Up Loans scheme?
A Start Up Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.
In addition to finance, successful applicants receive 12 months of free mentoring and exclusive business offers to help them succeed.
The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application.
Who has the scheme helped so far?
Over seventy five thousand new businesses have been approved for loans totalling over £623m. An estimated 26 businesses are backed per day.
… Wireside Productions: Film production graduates Michael Evans and Jason Brown were granted a Start Up Loan to fund the launch of their film and photography company. They are using the money to develop a user-friendly stylish website and to fund marketing plans.
… Miporto: Founded by 18-year-old Josh Valman, Miporto enables individuals without formal design skills to develop products with the help of a product manager. With the money and mentoring support from the Start Up Loans scheme, Valman has developed his business website ready for launch.
… Monroes Hair: Lisa Brady received a Start Up Loan to fund the launch of her hair dressing business focused on customers with hair loss problems. With the money and mentoring support, Brady has been able to expand the reach of her company and is in talks with private hospital Little Princess Trust, a charity for children undergoing chemotherapy.
How much can be borrowed?
All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business.
What are the repayment terms?
Loans are available from £500 to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum and you can choose a loan repayment term between one to five years.
Who can apply for a Start Up Loan?
If you’re starting a new business or have been trading for less than two years, then you’ve met the first criteria for securing a Start Up Loan. Check out the other criteria below to make sure you’re eligible before applying.
You’re 18 years of age or older
You’re a current UK resident
You’re starting a new business or have been trading for up to 24 months
You’re unable to secure finance from other sources (self-declaration is ok)
Your business is based in the UK
You have the right to work in the UK
Your business type and loan purpose is eligible under terms of the scheme
You pass the scheme credit checks and you can afford to repay the loan.
Do you fit the criteria?
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If you are in a business partnership, buying an existing business or starting a franchise, you are able to apply for a Start Up Loan if you fit the criteria above.
Who decides whether an applicant is suitable?
Once the application has been sent, the Start Up Loans Company then identifies a delivery partner for the applicant.
The chosen delivery partner then helps each applicant to identify what stage the business is at and then supports the applicant to develop a business plan, which will be pitched to a panel.
Those who pitch successfully will be provided with a loan, distributed by the delivery partner.
The Start Up Loans Company currently has a large number of delivery partners in all regions of the UK.
What support is available?
As well as pitch training, delivery partners provide applicants with business support and mentoring to help them get their business started.
Applicants will also be eligible for benefits packages supplied by the Start Up Loans Company’s global partners, which include workspace provider Regus, accounting software provider Intuit and secure payments service Paypal.
… Six months of free access to Regus’ virtual office package and access to a range of Regus’ worldwide business lounges.
… Two years of free access to cloud-based accounting software, QuickBooks Online Simple Start.
… Discounted rate with PayPal business account of 1.4%+20p per transaction (down from 3.4%) for six months.
There are lots of other corporate partners and discounts – more information is available on the Start Up Loans website.
Want to apply for a Start Up Loan? Click here to visit the Start Up Loans website and get started…