Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 59
bakery business with her sister in east
a £14,000 Start Up Loan to launch their
London, and a man in his 50s from Scotland
business. Claudi & Fin ice lollies are now
who plans to start his own fire-safety firm.
stocked by Sainsbury's, Waitrose and
Two-fifths, or 19,000, of the businesses
Tesco across the UK.
we've supported are run by women,
compared with the national average of
What is the loan rate and how long do
18% for female-led small businesses.
you have to pay it back?
We provide loans of up to £25,000 at
What are the most common types of
a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum,
businesses funded by Start Up Loans?
repayable over one to five years.
We support start-ups across a wide range
There is a loan-repayment calculator
of sectors. In 2016, we provided £5,000 of
on our website, so individuals can figure
funding to Dream A Theme, a Liverpool-
out what their total and monthly
based videography business. It creates
repayments are likely to be. Our
360° videos by capturing live footage
business advisers can also provide
from two cameras, which are then edited
guidance where applicants are unsure.
to create an illusion of a 360° perspective.
A GOOD START
THE START UP LOANS COMPANY
FINANCIAL AND MENTORING
SUPPORT TO EARLY-STAGE
BUSINESSES ACROSS THE UK.
INTERIM CEO JOANNA HILL
In 2012, we lent £6,000 to The
As it is a government-backed scheme,
SmartBunker, based in Belfast, which aims to
does it have an end date?
make storage and access to materials such as
The scheme is currently funded to 2020.
coal, grit and wood pellets easier. It now
exports to Australia, Germany and France.
In April this year, we funded the opening
What's involved with the mentoring
service that comes with the loan?
of London-based seafood restaurant The
Access to quality business support can
Oystermen. The launch saw the business
be as important as the finance. Our
employ a head chef, a sous chef, front of
national network of Delivery Partners
house and restaurant manager. The owners
employs business advisers to support
What's the history behind the
now predict 300% turnover growth in the
potential business owners in finalising
Start Up Loans Company?
next 12 months.
their application. They can also help with
developing key documents such as a
Following a 2012 small-business review,
"Growing your own business: a report
Has Brexit affected the number of people
on growing micro businesses", by the
applying for Start Up Loans?
government's enterprise adviser Lord
We recently asked our start-up business
offer one-to-one mentoring support for
Young, the Start Up Loans Company
owners if they felt the last 12 months had
12 months. This is often the most crucial
was formed to deliver loans and support
impacted their growth forecasts, and we
period for new businesses and we want
to those who struggled to access
found that overall confidence remained high.
to do our bit to help ensure the owners
finance to start their businesses.
Our research reveals that almost 90% are
have access to advice and guidance.
We work with a network of Delivery
Partner organisations to support new
and early-stage businesses across the
business plan and cashflow forecast.
If the application is successful, we also
expecting to grow sales next year, and 47%
are forecasting double-digit growth.
These statistics are echoed in the number
Do you have any advice for someone
looking for a Start Up Loan?
UK. Since 2012, we've helped fund more
of applications we receive, which appears
Ensure you understand your target
than 50,000 individuals, 42% of whom
to have been largely unaffected by broader
market. You need a good grasp of your
were formerly unemployed or
political issues. We certainly hope that
customer base to understand whether
confidence remains high.
there's a demand for your product or
service. Once you've identified demand,
In total, we've lent £345m and
the scheme has contributed to the
Which businesses have been the most
research what competition already
creation of more than 60,000 jobs.
successful so far?
exists, what your competitors are doing
We find the most successful businesses
better than you and where there is
Who applies for Start Up Loans?
address a problem in an existing market. A
opportunity for improvement. This
People come to us from a diversity
good example of a business idea we funded
research is important for any business
of backgrounds. They can vary in
was in 2012. Friends Lucy Woodhouse and
owner seeking investment.
age, gender and location, and that's
Meriel Kehoe decided to launch an all-natural
what creates such a variety of new
frozen ice lolly business after spotting a lack
business adviser can support you in
of tasty and healthy treats available for their
developing your business plan and
children. After trialling recipes on their kids,
financial forecast, as well as any other
In the last month, we've lent to a
young woman looking to start a vegan
they received glowing feedback and secured
If you decide to apply for a loan, a
information we may need to know. □