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Scheme Provides Over 55,000 Start-up Loans

Scheme Provides Over 55,000 Start-up Loans

The Start Up Loans Company has backed 28 businesses a day since its launch in June 2012.

Over 55,000 UK start-ups have received low interest loans totalling £406 million from the government backed programme, contributing to the creation of more than 60,000 jobs.

SULCo provides personal loans of up to £25,000 at a six per cent fixed interest rate per annum and offers free mentoring and support to each business.

A network of delivery partner organisations support applicants in all regions and industries throughout the UK. Funding is provided by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and SULCo is a subsidiary of the British Business Bank.

The scheme has lent over £20 million to 3,100 small businesses in Scotland, with the average loan size being £7,000.

Mechelle Clark, founder of Melt Aberdeen (pictured), received a loan of £20,000 to set up her business.

After being made redundant twice in the same year, she was inspired by the London foodie scene to launch her own grilled cheese shop. The business now generates a turnover of just under £130,000 and Mechelle employs two full-time members of staff.

She says: “I’ve always had a passion for cooking and after being made redundant and attending up to 60 job interviews, I decided enough was enough and it was time to set up my own business doing what I love.

“I saw there was a gap in the market in Aberdeen to use local ingredients to move the toastie up a level from the days of Brevilles and cheap white bread.

“There have been challenges along the way, such as the collapse of the local economy hit by the struggling oil and gas industry, but the financial backing I received from the Start Up Loans Company has helped my business grow from strength to strength.

“The mentoring scheme they offer has also been a bonus, with their advice being incredibly helpful.”

Approximately one in five loans go to residents in the UK’s most deprived communities, while the overall return on investment of the scheme is at least £3 per £1 invested. Loan recipients report estimated average turnover of £44,000 in the first year of trading. Read more like this

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