Age cap on start-up loans 'should be lifted'

The age limit on the government’s loans scheme to help turn creative ideas into a commercial reality should be scrapped, allowing all aspiring business-owners to benefit from the funding injection.

Tabling the recommendation yesterday, David Cameron’s enterprise adviser said that removing the scheme’s current age cap of 30-years-old would help “fire up business growth” in the UK.

Reflecting in his report - Growing Your Business, Lord Young acknowledged that he was now asking “the government to go further” than it did in January, when it extended the age of loan recipients from 24 to 30.

“I recommend removing the age cap altogether,” he said, “[so] the board of the Start-Up Loans Company [can] work towards extending the benefits of the scheme to all start-ups.”

As a result of ministers signalling that they will take forward the recommendation, the over-30s will in future be eligible for a typical loan of £2,500 – repayable over five years at a low interest rate – to set up their own venture, assuming their business plan is “robust.”

Although the extension to the over-30s is not being implemented immediately, the scheme provider last night said it was “working on a plan to make this happen.”

The Start-Up Loans Company added: “If you’d like to find out more or keep updated with progress then please email hello@startuploans.co.uk with the subject header: Over 30s.

“If you could let us know the nature of your interest and if you may want to get involved in some capacity, we can ensure we follow up with your enquiry appropriately.”

Since Start-Up Loans were launched in September 2012, the government says more than 3,520 new businesses have benefited, drawing on both £19.2m of loan capital and business and mentoring support of over £3.5m.

 

14th May 2013

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