Government Awards 10,000th Startup Loan
21st November 2013
The UK government has announced that it has awarded its 10,000th loan to a startup.
As part of the Start Up Loan Scheme, which was launched by the prime minister 18 months ago, SMEs can access a line of credit worth up to £10,000 to launch a new business, or fund a creative idea they have. But while opposition figures and government critics predicted the programme would have low demand, this seems not to have been the case and today prime minister David Cameron has announced the awarding of the scheme's 10,000th loan. Allen Martin, a Royal Navy veteran that runs Eclipse Property Cornwall - a service provider that manages properties on behalf of landlords in the south-western county - received £10,000 from the government to launch his business. To coincide with this landmark, the coalition announced Start Up Loans has now lent £50 million to people from across the UK. However, business ministers have pledged not to stop here and want to reach their target of supporting 30,000 new businesses with £151 million by 2015, when the next set of elections are due to take place. Business secretary Vince Cable, who was one of the driving forces behind the investment plan, said: "Start Up Loans continue to expand, filling an important gap for aspiring entrepreneurs in the first stages of setting up their business. "Helping more small businesses to get started and thrive is a key part of the government's drive to create a more entrepreneurial society." These comments were echoed by James Caan, former member of the hit TV show Dragons' Den and entrepreneur activist, who commented: "Providing this vitally needed funding and support for fledgling businesses is exactly what our country requires." Previously released statistics from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed the average Start Up Loan guarantee provided by the government is worth £5,720. The figures also show that the Greater London area is by far the most common places for the loans to be awarded, with 36 per cent of all credit given in this region. The north-west was second (16 per cent). Steve Beahan, partner at the Sheffield office of law firm, Irwin Mitchell, said: -It is great to see these figures and they are a very positive sign that the appetite among entrepreneurs to get out there and develop new ventures is very strong at present. As we have said regularly, small businesses have a huge part to play in the ongoing improvements being seen in the economy but too often in the past the issue of finance has seen people struggle to get their ideas off the ground. -A scheme such as this one provides a vital boost to new and emerging companies, so it is vital that everything is done to ensure that interest in the initiative continues to grow. -It is worth those thinking about how they can get their ideas off the ground to investigate the opportunities available to them, but also to remember the important work that needs to be done as companies grow and expand. -A big part of preparing for such growing pains is having access to high quality legal advice on a range of issues, from the employment aspect in relation to taking on more staff to compliance on key regulations across specific sectors and areas.