Earlier this month the Government announced that the number of start-up loans awarded to young people between the ages of 18 and 30 has exceeded expectations, with 2,000 aspiring entrepreneurs having received support to get their business off the ground.
In fact, in February alone, the Start-Up Loans Company, which administers the scheme and is chaired by former Dragon’s Den entrepreneur James Caan, helped to start 1,000 new businesses.
The success of the Start-Up Loan scheme, which helps young people get their business ideas off the ground with a loan of typically around £4,500 plus mentoring support, demonstrates the strong demand amongst 18-30 year olds for self-employment.
The scheme has already reached its £10 million pilot spend following high demand, and an immediate £5.5 million injection of funding was approved in Parliament this month to fulfil its pipeline of young businesses until the end of the month.
The government has made £117.5 million available to fund the Start-Up Loans scheme up to 2015, which is broken down into £15.5m for the pilot phase, which ends this year, which includes the extra £5.5m agreed this month. Then there will be £42m for 2013/2014 and £60m for 2014/15.
The £30m top-up to the scheme was confirmed in last week’s Budget, which was welcomed by organisations that support young people, but other groups would like to see the Government beginning new initiatives to help older people start a business.
The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprises commented that people over 50, who potentially find it harder to find employment, are crying out for employment opportunities and could make a lasting impact to the economy if provided with the same start-up support given to the younger cohort.
London accountant, Russell Black specialises in offering accountancy, audit and taxation advice to business start-ups.