Another 50,000 entrepreneurs will receive help to start-up their businesses after the Government committed to extending a popular loans scheme.
Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement yesterday that the Start Up Loans scheme, which is supported by Bizspace, would be expanded to help another 50,000 people who want to run their own businesses.
He claims the move will help create “a new generation of entrepreneurs”.
He told the House of Commons: “I can announce a big expansion of Start Up Loans - 50,000 more people will be helped to fulfil their aspiration to start their own business.”
The business funding initiative has already been responsible for 10,000 loans totalling £50 million, according to figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The scheme already had a target of supporting 30,000 start-up businesses with funding of £151 million by 2015.
Start Up Loans is fronted by businessman James Caan, who is known for being on the hit BBC show Dragons’ Den.
He says: “Providing this vitally needed funding and support for fledgling businesses is exactly what our country requires, creating jobs, and strengthening the economy, improving enterprise.
“There is still much work to be done; now we have lifted the age cap our focus has be on helping all entrepreneurs of all ages come forward to start their business.”
The news comes as the nation prepares for its first Small Business Saturday tomorrow. The event is designed to encourage people to support small independent businesses in their local area.
Small Business Saturday originated in the US before being brought over the Atlantic by Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna.
Mr Umunna says: “As a nation, we do not celebrate nearly enough what small businesses do. Our nation’s small businesses provide almost two thirds of private sector employment and almost half of private sector turnover but they do not appear in a ‘British Dream’ in the way that entrepreneurs feature in the American Dream we hear so much about.”
He claims last year’s Small Business Saturday in the U.S drove sales of $5.5 billion – the equivalent of £3.5 billion – in small independent shops.
He adds: “On its own, a UK Small Business Saturday will not transform the fortunes of our small businesses, but, as the US experience demonstrates, it gives us all an special opportunity to do our bit to ensure those who take risks, set up shop and provide jobs in our local communities get more of the recognition they so deserve, by making a point of spending our money in their businesses on the big day.”
The organisers of Small Business Saturday are using campaigns on social media sites to urge Christmas shoppers to head to their local high street tomorrow, which is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year.