The Start Up Loans Company has given over £5.8 million in loans to more than 1,000 start-up businesses in Kent.
The loans company is a government-backed scheme which was launched in 2012 by the former Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Since then is provided over £20 million to start up companies across the south east.
The organisation lends up to £25,000 of taxpayers money, with a flat interest rate of 6% a year, to start up businesses, as well as offering advice and mentoring support.
The loans have helped many people across Kent including fashion retailer Monks & Co in West Malling, which launched in 2013 with an £8,000 loan.
Since launching, the business is experiencing 70% growth year-on-year and was named best new business at the 2015 Drapers Independents Awards. Its owner Amy Barker was also named in the 2016 Kent Business Top 30 Under 30 list.
She said: “There are so many exciting business ideas waiting to get off the ground in the South East but it’s no secret that access to finance can be one of the toughest parts of starting up.
“The Start Up Loans Company was instrumental in launching my venture and the continued support I’ve received from my mentor has provided me with a valuable sounding board throughout my business journey.
“I’d encourage any aspiring business owners in the South East to grab the opportunity with both hands and make the most all of the help and support available to them.”
Across the UK £217 million has been lent to more than 40,000 businesses, helping over 17,000 people who were formerly unemployed or economically inactive.
So far, it has delivered more than £3 of value to the economy for every £1 invested.
David English, chief marketing officer 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 £20 million of lending in the South East is a key milestone for the Start Up Loans Company and we are keen to help many more business ideas come to fruition.”
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