The Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) has passed a significant milestone, having lent over £400million since its inception five years ago. Northamptonshire bakery, Born and Bread, took the total past the £400million mark after securing the programme’s 54,000th loan to buy ovens, coffee machines and cover initial rent costs.
The Start Up Loans programme provides loans of up to £25,000 at 6% fixed rate per annum, as well as offering dedicated mentoring to recipients. Since launching in 2012, it has supported an average of 9,000 early-stage businesses a year. To date, Start Up Loans’ funding has supported 24,000 individuals under 30 with over £160million, helping them realise their start-up ambitions.
Commenting on hitting the £400 million milestone, Small Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “This Government is fully behind the entrepreneurs delivering jobs, growth and greater choice for consumers and we are proud that the government-backed Start Up Loans Company has invested £400 million in them.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy – 99% of firms are small and over 1,000 new businesses start every day. Through our Industrial Strategy we are building an environment which will ensure they continue to thrive.”
Born and Bread, set to launch in June this year, secured a £25,000 loan from The Start Up Loans Company, which has helped to finance equipment including ovens and coffee machines, and rent fees for the premises. The bakery, based in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, looks forward to welcoming the community to the shop to try the artisan breads and cakes on offer, all of which will be made using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
Libby Keech, owner of Born and Bread, said: “We have always been passionate about baking, and it has long been our ambition to launch our own business. Starting a bakery isn’t a cheap process but with the support of The Start Up Loans Company, we were able to purchase equipment and cover our first month’s rent. Now we’re in the process of putting the final measures in place in time for our launch in the summer. “
Joanna Hill, Managing Director at the Start Up Loans Company, added: “Born and Bread is another example of a stellar business idea which has been brought to life with a Start Up Loan. Having approached us with a solid business plan and a clear ambition for the future, it’s great to see Born and Bread on track to build what has the makings of being a highly successful business.”
Achieving the £400million milestone comes one year after the Start Up Loans Company merged with the British Business Bank.
Keith Morgan, British Business Bank CEO, added: “Following last year’s merger, the British Business Bank has been working closely with The Start Up Loans Company to coordinate and develop our support for budding business owners. Delivering £400 million of Start Up Loans is an important milestone, and we look forward to providing ongoing support to the UK’s start-ups to help bring their ambition to fruition.”