The scheme has helped support more than 40,000 business ideas across the country, and the programme has helped over 17,000 people who were formerly unemployed or economically inactive.
In total, £239m has been provided by Start Up Loans to support new business ventures. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, formerly the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, formed the company in 2012, which provides loans of up to £25,000 at 6% per annum, in addition to offering a free mentoring service to each business it supports.
Local tour guide business, YorTours launched in April 2014, after receiving a £5,000 Start Up Loan. Entrepreneur Nick Smith decided to set up the business after becoming increasingly frustrated with differing standards of customer led requirements. After spotting a gap in the market for Yorkshire-based tour guides, Nick decided to combine his passion for scenery and customer service, and took the leap to becoming his own boss.
Now, Nick plans to develop partnerships with overseas companies in a bid to expand his international client-base. Since launching in 2014, YorTours has received a Trip Adviser ‘Certificate of Excellence’ with a total of 59 five star recommendations and bookings scheduled into 2017.
Nick said: “There are so many inspiring business ideas waiting to be turned into reality but many see access to finance as a stumbling block and aren’t aware of the help available to them.
"The Start Up Loans Company was instrumental in kick-starting my business venture, and the mentoring support I received provided me with a solid business plan and the market strategy to get YorTours off the ground.
I’d encourage aspiring business owners in Yorkshire to explore all options and make the most of the breadth of help out there when it comes to both funding and mentoring support.”
Tim Sawyer, CEO at the Start Up Loans Company, said: “Small Businesses are often referred to as the lifeblood of the economy, and start-ups play an instrumental role in this. That’s why it’s great to see such a demand for funding from potential business owners up and down the country.
“Achieving £20m of lending in Yorkshire is a key milestone for the Start Up Loans Company and we are keen to help many more business ideas come to fruition. Since 2012, our funding and comprehensive package of free business support has helped to create jobs and launch many great business ideas. As a result, the scheme has delivered more than £3 of value to the economy for every £1 invested. The next six months is set to be another busy period for microbusinesses in Yorkshire and we are proud to support this growth.”
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