Enterprising creatives in their late twenties have been offered a financial lifeline by the government to get their idea off the ground and on the way to becoming a commercial reality.
Until recently, only 18 to 24-year-olds were able to apply for the state’s Start-up Loans scheme, which offers money and mentorship to those with a “robust” business plan.
But having seen the appetite for the scheme – more than 3,000 youngsters have applied (yet only about 500 have been successful) – the government has announced that it should extend to people up to the age of 30.
To equip the scheme ahead of the anticipated rush of new applicants, each of whom can secure £2,500 for their business, an additional £30million is being poured in over the next three years.
That means more than £110million in funds for new start-ups has now been apportioned, on top of the scheme’s other asset of mentors with commercial experience, who coach the applicants as they set up.
All the loans on offer are on a fixed, low-interest basis (6%), and repayment periods are typically a maximum of five years for the most typical sum (£2,500), although “there is no definite limit” to how much can be borrowed.
The terms of the scheme add that applicants must be living in England; do not have to have a business account (because the loan is technically a personal loan) and that capital repayment holidays are available.