Home Business News £100m of finance provided to 18-24-year-old entrepreneurs by start up loans programme

£100m of finance provided to 18-24-year-old entrepreneurs by start up loans programme

by LLB Finance Reporter
14th Feb 24 1:15 pm

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today announces that it has provided more than £100m worth of funding to business owners aged between 18-24 years old, equating to more than 15,000 loans since the programme launched in 2012.

From that national total, more than £20m of funding has been provided to 3,099 Gen Z businesses in London.

New data also reveals the most entrepreneurial constituencies in the region. Under 25s in the constituency of West Ham are the most entrepreneurial with businesses run by young owners getting more than £761,000. Camberwell & Peckham and Croydon North respectively were the next most entrepreneurial.

See below for a full breakdown of loans to the top 10 constituencies in London since 2012, including volume and value of loans.

Of those to receive a Start Up Loan across the UK, the most popular industries to launch a business in include retail (£8.5m), hospitality (£5.8m) and arts and entertainment (£2.5m).

See below for a full breakdown of loans by regions for young people since 2012, including volume and value of loans.

The funding milestone comes as the Start Up Loans programme launches a new campaign to help students access information about the Start Up Loans scheme and encourage them to make their business dreams a reality. The advertising campaign is running across 54 UK cities, and students simply need to scan the QR code on posters and screens around their college and university campuses and surrounding area to access the information on offer.

New data shows that the programme’s impact has been particularly noticeable among young entrepreneurs from across the UK, with 16.5% of all loan recipients aged 18-24 being unemployed before they got their loan.

Of all the loans distributed to entrepreneurs under 25, 39% have gone to female business owners and 24% to business owners from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Francis Harwood, founder of Limitless is a Start Up Loans recipient. Francis took out his first loan of £10,000 via Let’s Do Business group when he was 23 years old. He took out a second loan of £5,000 in October 2023, when he was 24 years old.

Limitless, based in London, is a technology recruitment agency, servicing the UK and USA technology markets, with a specialism in growing software engineering and product teams for tech start-ups and established technology companies. Francis opted for full-time work over higher education and left school at aged 16 to pursue a career in recruitment, before launching his own venture.

Francis Harwood, founder of Limitless said: “Having left school at 18, I started my career in recruitment, working at three successful firms, gaining proficient exposure and experience in managing a team and learning the ins and outs of recruitment. In 2022, I felt the time was right and armed with my experience and relationships within my market, I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and start Limitless.

“It’s been an amazing 18 months since I first started the business and our success has been remarkable, having worked with multiple household names exclusively to innovative start-ups impacting the world we live in today. As a business, we are expanding internally, with growth objectives in 2024 along with our business territories in Europe and the US with plans to scale our presence in both Amsterdam and Miami with offices in the near distant future.

“Without the starting loan from Start Up Loans I wouldn’t have been able to grow the business as quickly as where it is today, it allowed me to invest in crucial technology from day one and allow further run rate to kick start us at the beginning while waiting for new business invoices to be paid. The growth loans offered by the Bank have been really transformative and along with the interest rate it’s what inevitably drew me to the scheme over other providers.

“My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: make sure you love what you do! Embrace the small wins daily, stay relentlessly optimistic, and with failures embrace them as key learns”.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start Up Loans said: “It’s amazing to see people in their late teens and early twenties with such ‘can-do’ attitudes and motivation to achieve success in working life.

“Our £20 million funding milestone in London is a significant landmark and testament to the hard work of Start Up Loans. We’re determined to keep backing aspirational young people with money and mentoring.”

Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Every large firm started off as a small business and today’s aspiring young entrepreneurs could be the next success story. I urge them to explore how a Start Up Loan could launch their ambitions today. Through the British Business Bank, and the Help to Grow campaign, we’ve backed the next generation of business leaders with over £100 million in government backed finance and we’re not stopping there.”

The Start Up Loans programme helps people start or grow their business and is part of the government-owned British Business Bank’s remit to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. They can borrow up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum and repay the loan over one to five years. The programme also provides 12 months of free business mentoring.

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