The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme provided more than 4,500 loans to small businesses across in the East of England
Starting up a business from scratch can be a difficult feat, especially within the first year of launching a company. But how can businesses get additional help in order for them to stand on their own two feet? Now, the government-backed British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme has given more than £35 million in loans to SMEs across the East of England, providing them with the support they need.
Since its launch in 2012, the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme has issued 4,556 loans to start-ups in the East of England, totalling £35.86 million, highlighting the true spirit of entrepreneurship in the region. According to statistics, each business took out an average loan of £7,873.
As an added perk, all Start Up Loan applicants receive constant support from an experienced business advisor who help them prepare a business plans and cash flow reports. All SMEs who receive loans under the programme are offered 12-months of free mentoring from to guide them through the early stages of their business journey.
Emily Robertson, 28, borrowed £25,000 from the Start Up Loans programme in 2017 through Delivery Partner Virgin StartUp, to set up a distillery in Cambridgeshire producing handcrafted gin.
Emily decided to give up her desk job as a former software developer at a multi-national tech company and launch Roundwood Gin with co-founder, Rupert Waters.
Using the loan provided, she managed to transform an outbuilding into a fully-functioning distillery with a hand-designed copper still.
Since starting up 2017, Roundwood Gin company has launched two new products in December - the Cask Aged Sloe Gin and the London Dry Gin Miniatures - sold on their website, www. roundwooddistillery.co.uk.
The business now employs four members of staff to help in day-to-day operations also host workshops teaching their customers the process behind distilling.
“Starting a business is the best thing I’ve ever done – but it hasn’t always been easy,” Emily said. “Launching the brand was a complete rollercoaster and I’ve learnt a lot. It took us 15 months from idea to launch and Start Up Loans has supported me every step of the way, not only through its funding but, just as importantly, through its mentoring service.”
“I’m delighted that we’ve helped Emily and Rupert develop and grow their business,” Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start Up Loans, said. Small businesses are crucially important to our economy, and we’re committed to helping them thrive. We are thrilled that Start Up Loans has played a part in the success of Roundwood Gin.”
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “This government wants to level up every part of the UK, making it the best place in the world to work and grow a business. It’s great to see East of England entrepreneurs like Emily and Rupert benefiting from the wide range of support we’ve made available to aspiring small business owners so we can really unleash the country’s potential. The government-owned British Business Bank is working in every region of the country to help hard-working people get the funding they need to set up and scale up fantastic new businesses.”
It is important start-ups are given the support they need, especially in the early stages of their business in order to thrive and succeed in an ever-changing market. With additional loans and mentoring schemes, SMEs will be given a head start and a true competitive advantage in their industries, allowing them to excel and take their companies to greater heights.