Virgin is partnering with the Start-Up Loans Company to crate a not-for-profit company aimed at helping British entrepreneurs.
Richard Branson’s new Virgin StartUp initiative will provide loans to entrepreneurs aged 18-30 alongside the Start-Up Loans Company.
The programme comes on the back of a pilot programme which ran in the North East involving Virgin Money. During 11 months of operation, it helped 100 businesses and facilitated £600,000 of lending.
Virgin StartUp is joining with ex-Dragons’ Den investor James Caan, Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed and Cavendish Consortium chairman Kevin Horne.
Branson, who has created a business empire including banking, media, aviation, leisure and healthcare, says that is was £300 provided by his mother that helped get him to where he is today.
‘Young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it – with access to early capital, strong membership, advice and promotion,’ he adds.
‘We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come.’
The Start-Up Loans Company is a £151.5 million government programme distributing repayable loans coupled with business mentorship and was founded by Lord Young.
More on The Start-Up Loans Company:
Virgin StartUp calls out to young entrepreneurs in the UK
Innocent Drinks’ Reed comments, ‘This country is full of entrepreneurial talent; ready, willing and able to build the businesses of the future, they just need access to the funds to get started.
‘That’s what is so great about Virgin StartUp – it will provide the cash and advice so the entrepreneurs can do their thing.’
Virgin companies will be allocating mentors from its staff as well as giving businesses access to customers.