The £112 million Start-Up Loans initiative has seen its uptake double since an extension was announced in early January.
While 500 businesses received Start-Up Loans and free mentoring during the last five months of 2012, the same amount have been backed in the first five weeks of 2013.
The surge means that the government scheme, headed up by former Dragons’ Den investor James Caan, has now supported its 1,000th young entrepreneur (aged between 18 and 30).
At the turn of the year, prime minister David Cameron announced that those under 30 would now be able to apply for finance under the funding scheme, up from the 18-24 framework that had currently existed. An extra £30 million of capital was also added, taking it up to £112 million.
The 1,000th loan has been awarded to Charles De-Souza, who secured £1,500 for his DTMI Group business. The events management company was created after De-Souza was forced to leave university for difficult personal circumstances.
De-Souza comments, ‘The Start-Up Loan gives us the capital to invest in one of our larger-scale projects called “Young London”.’
‘Young London is an arts program consisting of a live music showcase, a theatre production and a week long arts program which will be held during summer and gives young people with creative talent an opportunity to create, produce and deliver an inspirational piece.’
Caan, chairman of Start-Up Loans, says, ‘I am thrilled to see the momentum we have gained and that hundreds of young people every week look to start their own business.
‘If each of the businesses we start creates two or three jobs that will be a hundred thousand jobs created by this initiative alone. We have to raise awareness of Start-Up Loans throughout all of England so every young person knows about this programme.’
More on the Start-Up Loans scheme:
Statistics showing a regional breakdown of loan applications reveals that Greater London has contributed a third of demand. Elsewhere in the UK, the South East (13 per cent) and West Midlands (14 per cent) followed after whilst every other region in the England has accounted for single-digit percentage contributions.
Commenting on the rise of applications, Cameron says, ‘This clearly demonstrates the ambition and drive people in this country have to create a business and I am pleased that Start-Up Loans are helping more and more entrepreneurs.
‘I am on the side of people who want to work hard and get on in life, and it is by backing aspiration and the businesses of tomorrow, as well as the businesses of today, that we are equipping the UK to compete in the global race.
More information on applying for a Start-Up Loan can be found here.