Thousands more young entrepreneurs are now eligible for government loans to help turn their business ideas into reality.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced on 3 January that funding for the government’s Start-Up loans scheme would be increased by £30 million to £110 million over three years.
The scheme, previously open to 18 to 24-year-olds, has also been opened up to more young entrepreneurs, with the upper age limit raised to 30.
Start-Up Loans provide a range of support to get business ideas off the ground, including access to a business mentor as well as funding in the region of £2,500.
When their business plan is robust and approved, applicants are able to access the financial support, with a repayment period of up to five years.
The first wave of funding was released in September 2012 and more than £1.5 million worth of loans have already been approved, helping over 460 new businesses get off the ground. Around 100 more new businesses a week were expected to reach approval stage in January 2013.
Meanwhile, a campaign has been launched to encourage employers to help 18-24 year-olds into work and receive hundreds of pounds in wage incentives.
These give employers hundreds of pounds when they take on a young person who has been unemployed for more than six months through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus as part of the £1 billion Youth Contract initiative.
Minister for Employment Mark Hoban told employers: “We’ve got up to £2,275 of cash sitting on the table waiting for you to take it up. So take on a young person who’s been out of work for six months, and the cash is yours.
“There really is no better time to change a young person’s life and invest in the future of your business at the same time, so snap up the money before someone else beats you to it.”