Government backs UK entrepreneurs with £ 600million in start-up loans outside London

  • Lending to small businesses outside London through the government-backed start-up loan scheme has crossed the £ 600million mark
  • the North West received the most funding outside of London, and the 600 millionth pound was loaned to a carpentry business in Northern Ireland
  • The program offers loans of up to £ 25,000 as well as dedicated business advice and is managed by the British Business Bank

The government’s start-up loan scheme has provided £ 600million in loans to businesses outside London, providing extensive support for entrepreneurship in UK home countries and regions.

Loans have been made to a wide range of businesses, including companies making vegan bags in Yorkshire, bespoke wooden furniture in Northern Ireland and rum cakes in the Lake District.

Businesses and entrepreneurs in the North West of England received the most loans outside London, totaling over £ 94million, with those in the South East receiving over £ 81million, followed by Yorkshire & The Humber with over £ 68million.

Aspiring business owners receive up to £ 25,000 under the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loan scheme, offering support they would otherwise have had trouble getting through a commercial bank loan. The program also provides mentorship to those starting their businesses and offers extensive support to women entrepreneurs, ethnic minority entrepreneurs and those previously unemployed.

These numbers reflect the UK’s large and diverse entrepreneurial spirit and highlight the program’s success in supporting business owners from all walks of life, regardless of where they are based in the country or industry. in which they find themselves, because opportunity government levels across the UK.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

There is so much creativity and dynamism across the UK, but without access to funding and support it is difficult to fully unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great.

The Start-Up Loan scheme has helped a wide range of entrepreneurs across the UK bring their business ideas to fruition, upgrade the whole country and empower talented business leaders from all walks of life to s ‘flourish.

The latest figures show that 40% of start-up loans went to women entrepreneurs, 20% to people from an ethnic minority and around 35% to people who were previously unemployed.

Beneficiary of the 600 millionth book

The beneficiary of the 600 millionth pound of the Start Up Loans program was Will Smith of Comber in County Down in Northern Ireland. He took out a loan of £ 6,000 in January 2020 to start Woodwork by Will – a bespoke wood furniture business. He used the money to invest in essential machinery and a table saw.

Before receiving the loan, he was using a friend’s machines for some of the bigger jobs. Now that he has his own machinery, a job that would have taken 3 days can be done in just half a day, allowing him to produce more high-quality handicrafts.

Will Smith, Founder of Woodwork by Will said:

The support I received from the British Business Bank accelerated my business 12 months beyond what it should have been.

I have found the whole process with the Bank very straightforward and would have no hesitation in recommending start-up loans to other entrepreneurs. I would go so far as to say that if you are serious about growing, this kind of upstream investment is essential, as long as you are determined to put the work into it.

The elements of mentoring would be particularly suitable for someone starting their own business but not necessarily having a business background. I was offered the mentorship of successful entrepreneurs in areas such as marketing, legal and insurance, which kept me on track from the start.

Richard Bearman, CEO of Start Up Loans, said:

Providing funding worth £ 600million to new businesses outside London is a milestone for the government-backed start-up loan scheme and reflects the great diversity and ambition of small businesses across the country at the local level across the country.

We have always been committed to providing support and funding to SME who come from every corner of the country, especially in disadvantaged areas where people may have difficulty accessing finance, and this milestone is a tribute to that.

We are proud that our loans, mentorship and support for budding and existing entrepreneurs are helping to support the Build Back Better program and we are delighted to have been able to help Will make his dream come true.

Notes to Editors

  • figures by region are up to August 31, 2021
  • the Start-Up Loans Company, part of the British Business Bank, was established in June 2012. The Start Up Loans program offers personal loans for business purposes of up to £ 25,000 at an interest rate fixed at 6% per year and offers free dedicated mentoring. and support for each company
  • The main goal of the Seed Loan Program is to ensure that viable start-ups and start-ups have access to the finance and support they need to thrive. A network of delivery partner organizations supports applicants in all regions and sectors of the UK
  • the financing of the Start Up Loans system is provided by BEIS. The Start-Up Loans Company is a subsidiary of British Business Bank plc
  • since 2012, the Start Up Loans program has granted more than 87,000 loans, providing more than £ 779 million in funding
  • in fiscal year 2020/2021, the program granted 11,408 loans with a total value of approximately £ 137.2 million
  • since 2012, 30% of loans have gone to formerly unemployed or economically inactive people. Two-fifths (40%) were women and more than 1 in 5 (20.2%) of loan recipients were from ethnic minorities.
  • during the 2020 expenditure review, the chancellor announced an increase in funding for the start-up loan program so that it can provide 1,000 more loans in 2021/2022 than those initially funded in the March 2020 budget
  • for more information on start-up loans please visit:
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