Richard Branson joins forces with James Caan to launch start-up finance and advice programme

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.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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James Caan