A start-up loan scheme that backs UK businesses is ready to offer more support to businesses in the Black Country. Start Up Loans, founded in 2012, lent £25m to West Midlands businesses last year and now the organisation plans to reach more start-ups in the region during 2017.
The scheme is aimed at businesses that need finance to launch or existing start-ups that have been in operation for less than two years and are in need of fresh financing. It is an independently managed, government-backed scheme supported by the British Business Bank.
It is designed to support businesses who struggle to access other forms of finance. It offers loans of up to £25,000 to an individual and has given as much as £75,000 to a group.
Start Up Loans not only offers access to affordable finance but also provides mentoring support to new businesses. It offers all applicants guidance from a business adviser during the application process and then provides all loan recipients with 12 months of free mentoring support.
When it was first launched Start Up Loans focused mainly on London and Manchester before being rolled out nationwide. It now works with a national network of delivery partners including BizBritain in Birmingham.
It is actively looking for more businesses in the region to support as the Black Country is such a strong manufacturing area. However, the scheme is available to all start-ups in any sector, from a café to a clothing manufacturer. Any business can apply for a loan if it meets the scheme’s requirements.