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Start Up Loans hits £1bn milestone of loans to UK small businesses with £371m (nearly 40%) have gone to female founders

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has delivered more than £1bn of loans since its inception in 2012. The loans have been issued to 105,109 businesses, at an average of £9,547 per business.

Almost 70% of loans have gone to businesses outside London and the South East and £371m of loans (nearly 40%) have gone to female founders. £201m (20%) of loans have gone to people from Black, Asian and other Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

Supporting under-represented groups

The Start Up Loans programme provides a means of reaching under-represented groups who are excluded from mainstream finance by helping them start businesses.

Of the £1bn loans, nearly 40% have been lent to female business owners, with a total value of £371m, and 20% have been lent to people from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities), with a value of £201m.

Just 4% of the UK’s small businesses in 2021 were majority-led by people from an ethnic minority group and only 20% of new businesses had female founders according to The Rose Review.

Backing 18-24s to start a business

Young people between 18-24 years old have received £106m (11%) in loans since the programme began.

70% of lending outside London & the South East

Of the £1bn provided to start ups, nearly 70% has gone to small businesses outside London and the South East. The top three regions receiving Start Up Loans outside of London and the South East are the North West (£121.6m), Yorkshire and the Humber (almost £90m) and the South West (almost £85m).

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans said: “Start Up Loans supports people across the UK who are looking to start their own business. To hit £1bn worth of loans after 11 and a half years is a monumental achievement, not just for our business but for entrepreneurs up and down the country. The programme has supported some fantastic success stories, such as Castore, Pip and Nut and Toddle Born Wild, and helped unlock potential across the whole of the UK. The UK has entrepreneurs in every corner and our aim is to do even more going forward to help those that want to set up a business.”

Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Across the UK, thousands of small businesses have now been supported by over a billion pounds in Start Up Loans.

“This crucial support is enabling enterprising companies like Robin Valley to start and scale up their ventures and I urge even more to follow in their footsteps.”

Value for money to the UK taxpayer

The Start Up Loans programme has been shown to be value for money to the UK taxpayer, with an independent review showing the economic benefits of the scheme are 5.7 times the economic cost.

Read more on The British Business Bank here.