Although it sometimes feels like we can hardly move for people complaining about government spending cuts and the overwhelming feeling that all the money in the world has simply disappeared, there’s some good news in the form of a whole bunch of money being made available to young people.
Not just any young person, though. Only business-savvy creative types need apply. The Prime Minister has announced that there will be an extension of a current scheme designed to reward and encourage young entrepreneurs.
The Start Up Loans scheme gives up to £2,500 to bright young sparks with “robust” business plans. The money is usually repaid over five years at a low rate of interest.
By that maths, now that £30m has been added to its coffers (old word for purse), there are 12,000 opportunities out there for the right candidates.
The Government has promised that they will give out 2,500 of these loans by March of this year, despite Channel 4 News reporting that “only a few hundred loans totalling £1.5 million have been finalised since it was launched last autumn.”
The website appears to back this up with its homepage claim: “we’ve helped start over 200 businesses”. But perhaps now that the new funding has been announced, there will be some way of fast-tracking the loan applications, new and old.
The scheme is also changing a bit – before, it was only open to people aged 16-24, but now people aged up to 30 years will be able to apply.
Chairperson of the scheme, Dragons Den judge James Caan, says that there has been a “major shift” in attitudes towards businesses and start-ups, and that entrepreneurs are now seen as “creative and exciting role models”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Start-Up loans are an important part of my mission to back aspiration, and all those young people who want to work hard and get on in life, so this country competes and thrives in the global race.
“They are a great way to help this next generation of entrepreneurs get the financial help – and the confidence – to turn that spark of an idea, into a growing, thriving business.”
Reckon you could you use £2,500 to start up a business? Head to startuploans.co.uk.