New British Business Bank push to help young Scots set up in business

More than £10 million of loans have now been given to help unemployed people in Scotland set up in business under a UK government support scheme.

The figure has been revealed as Start Up Loans which forms part of the British Business Bank, sets out a commitment to unlock the talent of thousands more people across the UK by helping them to start their own business.

Since 2012, the Start Up initiative has delivered almost 2,300 loans to unemployed people north of the Border, worth some £10.2m. Over the past nine years, 43 per cent of people to have received government-backed funding in the country were unemployed.

Richard Bearman, managing director, Start Up Loans, said: “Start Up Loans is uniquely positioned to drive the nation’s investment in creative, entrepreneurial talent of any age, thanks to our extensive network of delivery partners and support services.

Julie Di Toro and her partner, Sam Barker, took out a Start Up Loan in two parts in August and September 2020 to launch Mistral, an independent wine shop based in Leith.


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“It is paramount that we do everything to empower the next generation of young working talent, who have an important part to play in unlocking the UK’s economic recovery, by giving them every chance to succeed, whatever their circumstances.

“Unemployment can have a catastrophic impact on an individual’s financial security, self-confidence and ability to apply for finance from lenders, and the support provided by Start Up Loans can be of particular use to younger, less experienced business owners.”

Of the 80,000-plus Start Up Loans recipients across the UK since 2012, about a third were unemployed at the time of application.

UK small business minister Paul Scully said: “Scotland gave the world the telephone, the television, marmalade and Dennis the Menace and the UK government is backing that proud history of world-leading innovation and entrepreneurial spirit through the British Business Bank.


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“The Start Up Loans programme has helped more than 5,200 pioneering Scottish businesses to get off the ground, including many owned by young or unemployed people, and so I encourage aspiring Scottish entrepreneurs to explore the support on offer from the UK government.”

The Start Up Loans scheme provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6 per cent fixed interest rate per annum and offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business.

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