Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has announced its new Business Support Partners (BSPs) – three national partners and a number of regional support partners. The new appointments will work with the Start Up Loans programme to deliver funding and support for small businesses across the UK over the next two years.
The scheme has a 10-year legacy of delivering funding at a fixed interest rate of 6% and mentoring to recipients in their first year. Since inception, the scheme has delivered over 100,000 loans worth more than £960 million to businesses and its delivery partners (now renamed as Business Support Partners) have always been critical to its success.
Start Up Loans’ impact has been particularly noticeable among individuals who might find it difficult to secure loans from traditional lenders, which has always been a priority for the scheme. New BSPs share – and will help deliver on – this ambition of providing support tailored to all demographics in society.
The new national BSPs will support businesses across the UK and target specific demographics traditionally in need of additional support. They are:
- GC Business Finance: A responsible lender with a proven track record in providing alternative finance products to support growing businesses achieve their goals. To date it has loaned in excess of £150m and supported over 30,000 growing businesses throughout the UK.
- X-Forces Enterprise: A specialist organisation that helps members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Service communities, including their family members, nurture their entrepreneurial ambition, secure funding and make their business plans a reality.
- The Prince’s Trust: A youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30. Its Enterprise programme helps turn young people’s big ideas into fully fledged businesses. It has helped over 90,000 young people to start their own business.
Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans, said: “I am delighted to share the first phase of our newly appointed BSPs, who will help us ensure that anyone wanting to start a business has the opportunity to do so, regardless of their location, economic circumstances or social background. We are incredibly proud of the success of the scheme since 2012 and the choice to review the partners we work with has been undertaken to offer new businesses the chance to compete for the work.”
Alex Mearns, Head of Startup Lending at GCBF, said: “We are proud to have secured the UK-wide contract for the Start Up Loans scheme. We are excited to welcome our new team members and expand our support to entrepreneurs across the country. Early-stage entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy, and if we can help more of them access the early finance they need, then we can get them ready for mainstream lending and further growth.”
Ren Kapur MBE, XFE’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with Start Up Loans, and excited as we look to the future and the prospect of helping even more individuals realise their entrepreneurial ambitions. The Start Up Loans scheme is a wonderful enabler for members of the Armed Forces community who wish to start their own businesses. We look forward immensely to working closely with BBB to facilitate crucial, accessible, and ethical finance, and with our charity partners to provide education, knowledge exchange, and ongoing support to enterprising members of the wider military family so they can make the best career choices for them.”
Alban Stowe, Senior Head of UK Government Strategy & Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust said: “We’re delighted to partner with Start Up Loans and grateful for their commitment to support young people to start their own business, at a time when they are facing multiple challenges. At The Prince’s Trust, we know that for many young people who face disadvantage, the opportunity to start their own business is life changing and can help them achieve financial independence, increase their confidence and enable them to reach their full potential.”
Start Up Loans’ new cohort of regional BSPs have been chosen to provide localised support for businesses in each nation and region of the UK, so that entrepreneurs have the best chance of fulfilling their potential regardless of their location.