Twenty-somethings promised start-up loans

Any 18-to 24-year-old will qualify for an “affordable” loan from the government so they can turn their enterprising idea into a commercial reality, under plans announced yesterday.

As long as they have a viable business idea, typically in the shape of a robust business plan, such individuals can join a new £82m scheme, which will offer them loans of up to £2,500.

On top of the loan, which can last up to five years with an interest rate of RPI plus 3%, they can also qualify for mentoring, support and training to set up their own freelance business.

“Government, the Start-Up Britain campaign and other partners are working together to support new business start-ups and growth,” the new scheme, Start-up Loans, said.

“Between us, we've got all the advice, inspiration and practical help you need to turn a dream into a working, profitable business.”

As to the need for the start-up package, Lord Young said that, while “many” young people possess the drive and ambition to create their own business, they “don’t know how to put this into action.”

As enterprise advisor to the prime minister, he was speaking after calculating that there would be 900,000 more businesses in Britain if it had the same culture of entrepreneurship as the US.

Suggesting why now is a fertile time for all start-ups, Lord Young said that the World Wide Web has made it easier for individuals to ‘go it alone,’ as trading can begin immediately assuming they have internet access.

His report also highlights the advantages that online accounting and invoicing tools can offer, while acknowledging the presence of online marketplaces, where freelancers can start-up themselves as a specialist business, or be hired to help a start-up.

Turning to Britain in particular, such small businesses were hailed by the business department as the “lifeblood” of the economy which, in 2012, was said to be at a “unique moment,” for playing host to the Olympic Games.

The PM reflected: “I want this to be the year where people can think yes; I can do it, that we can get as many viable businesses as possible off the ground, that people can have a go, and that we see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs who start small but think big.” 


29th May 2012

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