3rd January 2013 in Community Land Trusts

?Over £110 million now available to create tens of thousands of new businesses
Age range increased from 24 to 30 to meet demand, and help more new businesses get affordable finance

?£1.5 million of loans already awarded to get new ventures off the ground

A £30 million boost to the Government’s Start-Up Loans scheme has been announced by the Prime Minister today to give the next generation of entrepreneurs the finance and support to start their own business, helping Britain to get ahead in the global race.

The additional money will boost the total pot for Start-Up loans to over £110 million over the next three years, potentially helping to start tens of thousands of new businesses. The Prime Minister also announced that due to demand from those who had just missed out on the scheme, and the challenges faced to secure loans to start a business, the age limit for application will now be extended from 24 to 30 years old.

Over 3000 people have applied or registered an interest in a Start-Up loan; these budding entrepreneurs receive support and mentoring to develop their ideas. When the business plan is robust and approved, they will be able to access financial support in the form of a low interest loan typically in the order of £2,500 with a repayment period of up to five years.

In the three months that the scheme has been live over £1.5 million worth of loans have been approved, helping over 460 new businesses get off the ground. Around 100 new businesses a week are expected to reach approval stage in January, with thousands more in the months ahead.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Start-Up loans are an important part of my mission to back aspiration, and all those young people who want to work hard and get on in life, so this country competes and thrives in the global race

“They are a great way to help this next generation of entrepreneurs get the financial help - and the confidence - to turn that spark of an idea, into a growing, thriving business.It is by backing our entrepreneurs and championing small business that we can drive forward and grow the economy, and equip this country for the highly competitive era we are in.”

James Caan, Chair of the Start-Up Loans Company said:

“There has been a major shift in the way business is viewed by the public, and entrepreneurs are now seen as creative and exciting role models; and I am delighted to see that more and more young people are now looking to set up their own business. It is only with this renewed focus on youth entrepreneurship, that we will create more jobs and wealth and see the economy flourish once again."

“Start-Up Loans enable young people to harness their skills, and gives each budding entrepreneur not just a low interest loan, but also the help and support from an experienced mentor to guide them to success. I am proud to chair the Start-Up Loans Company, responsible for delivering this excellent initiative.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

"The Government is determined to back young people who aspire to get on in business and create jobs. The Start-Up Loan scheme has been very popular and the extra investment will help to meet the demand for this kind of assistance.

"Making this support available to a wider age group will encourage even more young people to be entrepreneurial. It gives them access to experienced mentors who can offer knowledge and expertise about how to run a successful enterprise. I hope to see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground."

Case Studies

Emma Salih - Norwich

Loving your work

Emma Salih choose to study beauty therapy and loved it. She surprised herself for, although very nervous when it came to assessments and exams, she passed and gained her qualifications ‘with flying colours’. She modestly attributes this to brilliant tuition and the support of her fellow students. Emma continues the story;

‘I wanted to use my beauty therapy skills to create a livelihood but I also knew that I did not want to work for someone else. I desperately wanted to be my own boss and show my daughter that one can prosper through hard work. It was so frustrating that there was no personal money to realise my dream and the banks would have laughed at my credit history’.

Determined, Emma decided to complete a course with The Princes Trust and they offered her a loan of £3,000. This allowed her ‘to set up shop’, using her spare room at home and on occasions, provide a mobile service. But this was not enough;

‘My partner works away and sometimes gets home late so being able to use our car was often in doubt. I needed my own transport in order to offer a reliable service. I was told about Foundation East delivering the national Start-Up Loans scheme and decided to apply. Although their application documents are a bit daunting, I was able to make use of my Princes Trust business plan and I received a great deal of assistance from my mentor Elizabeth. Once my application had been submitted the process was very quick and straightforward and I was provided with another £3,000’.

Emma now has her own car, she has redecorated her ‘at home’ salon and purchased new uniform and equipment. She is keeping to her plan and now concentrates on offering specific quality products and services at competitive prices. This has enhanced her reputation and made the business far more efficient.

‘I offer nail extensions, which includes stiletto nails and nail art, waxing all eye lash, brow treatments and Balmain hair extensions. My business name ‘Emma’s’ is sweet and simple’.

It is a characteristic desire of a successful entrepreneur to continue to develop their business. Emma is no exception.

‘I would still like to have my own high street salon. My home area is developing and I can see the potential. I still have a lot of targets but I am on the way. I was able to launch my business with the help of both The Princes Trust and Foundation East. I would recommend both these organisations to anyone with a business idea, drive, determination and persistence who is lacking that vital financial support and business know how. I hope that a proper salon will soon become a reality.’

Jack Passant
Wet Weather Makes Jack’s Cheques Rosy

Having studied law at the University of Glamorgan, Jack Passant moved to London in 2011 and began work as an Investment Broker. Being a regular attendee at summer festivals he came to appreciate that outdoor waterproofs were dull and unexciting and he discussed his thoughts with his sister Fleur, a recent graduate from the London School of Fashion. A dream team was now in place with a terrific idea; outdoor, waterproof clothing and products which change colour.

‘Our first goal’, says Jack,’ was to target the children’s market by introducing excitement and colour into children’s outdoor clothing. The most challenging aspect with starting the business was a limited budget and the unforeseen costs’.

For Jack and Fleur, the national Start-Up Loans initiative came along at the right time. Now based in eastern England, Jack’s application to Foundation East was approved and he was linked to mentor Nigel Best.

Jack continues;

‘We are very passionate about the products we are producing. The loan is vital and will contribute towards stock purchase and development costs. It is fantastic to have an organisation such as Foundation East delivering the Start-Up Loans initiative. The company genuinely wants to help businesses. It is not just the money; the free professional business advice and mentoring gives every start-up a real advantage’.

The company Holly & Beau will be offering umbrellas, raincoats, swimwear and a new type of sleepover/camping bed. Eastern England has recently experienced the wettest year to date. This has been for most of us depressing and for some, disastrous. Jack and Fleur have turned adversity into opportunity.

Ben Spencer and Stuart Shepard
Two Live Wires in Essex Explain How Start-Up Loans Provided the Power

In the summer of 2012 friends Ben Spencer (24) and Stuart Shepard (21) began talking about working for themselves and the options available. They were fully aware of the economic climate; Stuart was out of work and Ben had been at Thurrock and Basildon College studying electrical installation. The concept of establishing their own electrical company was daunting but at the same time very exciting. Full encouragement came from their relatives. Both families were very impressed with the determination of these young men to target the creation of their own business instead of becoming job hunters.

Having taken professional advice and mentoring a limited company Thurrock Electrical Services was created. The future looked promising until the first major challenge and set-back occurred when anticipated funding from Ben’s personal investments were found to be ‘locked in’.

Ben continues the story;

‘It was so frustrating that we could not begin trading. This was a major set-back. We started looking around for loans and grants without any luck initially. Then I heard about the national Start-Up Loans scheme and Foundation East on Radio 1. After finding their web site I gave them a call.’

The Start-Up Loans Administrator at Foundation East, Karen Nunn, remembers Ben’s first call. She explained the scheme and to Stuart and Ben it sounded as though their prayers had been answered.

‘This was a huge lift for me and Stuart’, says Ben. ‘We had been test trading but now we had found a way to really start our company and through people who are really helpful. Karen, Becky and John at Foundation East kept in close contact providing assistance with the loan application and any other queries we have had. It was like winning the lottery when John confirmed we been accepted for a loan.’

Thurrock Electrical Services is trading well. Modestly Ben and Stuart contribute much of their initial success to family support, their mentor David Spencer, Foundation East and their first customer Sheringham Interiors. John Stenhouse, Start-Up Loans Manager at Foundation East would like to put two other names at the head of this list.

‘If Ben and Stuart had not been so determined, Thurrock Electrical Services would have failed before it started. These young men have shown what a Start-Up loan and mentoring can help to achieve. However, in every case it is the determination of the young entrepreneurs that is going to be the key factor. I would like to wish Ben and Stuart every success and hope that their story will inspire others to do the same’.

These case studies are contactable through: Richard Glinn, Marketing Manager, Foundation East: 01284 757797 or richard.glinn@foundationeast.org

Click here to Invest Online Now