Government backs entrepreneurs across UK with £600m Start Up Loans outside London

The government’s Start Up Loans scheme has provided £600m in loans to businesses outside London, delivering extensive support for entrepreneurship across the UK’s home nations and regions.

Loans have gone to a huge range of companies, including businesses 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, totalling over £94 million, with those in the South East receiving over £81 million, followed by Yorkshire & The Humber with over £68 million.

Aspiring business owners receive up to £25,000 through the Start Up Loans scheme, run by the British Business Bank, delivering support that they may have otherwise struggled to get through a commercial bank loan. The scheme also provides mentoring to those starting their business venture, and offers extensive support to women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds and the previously unemployed.

These figures reflect the UK’s wide-ranging and diverse entrepreneurial spirit and highlight the success of the programme in providing support to business owners of all backgrounds, regardless of where in the country they are based or what sector they’re in, as the Government levels up opportunity 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’s difficult to fully unlock the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great.

“The Start Up Loans programme has helped a diverse range of entrepreneurs across the UK to get their business ideas off the ground, levelling up the entire country and enabling talented business leaders from all backgrounds to flourish.”

The latest figures show 40% of Start Up Loans have gone to women business leaders, 20% to people from an ethnic minority background and around 35% to those who had previously been unemployed.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start Up Loans, said: “Providing £600m worth of funding to new businesses outside of London is a huge milestone for the government-backed Start Up Loans programme and reflects the broad diversity and ambition of the nation’s small businesses at a grass roots level across the whole country.

“We have always been committed to providing support and funding to SMEs that hail from each corner of the country, particularly in areas of deprivation where people may struggle to access funding, and this milestone is tribute to that.

“We are proud that our loans, mentoring and support for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs is helping to support the Build Back Better agenda and we’re delighted to have been able to help Will make his dream into a reality”.