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The 20,000th Start Up Loan marks £100 million lent to entrepreneurs

The Start Up Loans Company – of which Outset Bristol’s sister company Outset Finance is an official Delivery Partner – has reached the amazing landmark of distributing its 20,000th loan. This amounts to more than £100 million of loans to entrepreneurs wanting to set up their own business.

Outset Bristol has seen loans approved for a wide range of businesses; from a new Indian deli to the launch of a commercial comic book.

“We know that finance is the biggest barrier to starting your own business,” says Outset Bristol Programme Director, Andy Dean. “We’re excited about the help the low-interest loans will offer budding entrepreneurs keen to make their business ideas come to life.”

The average Start Up Loan is for just over £5,000 and businesses can use them to buy stock, equip premises or simply fund those crucial first months. “Their low interest rates mean that setting up in business can become a reality for people who may never have considered going self-employed before.”

Shilpi Choudhury was awarded a £10,000 Start Up Loan to start her Indian deli Chai Shai in Jacob’s Wells Road in Hotwells, Bristol. Shilpi. “Communication with Outset Finance and the loan process itself was easy and straightforward,” says Shilpi. “We felt we were listened to and our requirements understood.” Shilpi is now receiving post-loan mentoring from Outset Finance, focused around attracting customers for their fledgling business.

Martin Prothero of Prothero Eyewear was also awarded a £10,000 government-funded Start Up Loan to help start his own business, designing and manufacturing high-quality wooden spectacle frames by hand. “Outset Finance has given me the financial backing I needed to help me turn my business ideas into a reality,” says Martin. “I needed a loan to fund essential manufacturing equipment and the development time for the product. I received guidance on how to put my business plan together and practical support in planning how to take the ideas forward. I am now having regular mentoring.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The economic hardship we’ve experienced over the last few years has not stopped the flow of business ideas and people wanting to start up their own companies. Reaching this milestone shows how fertile the ground is for enterprise.

“The people behind these start ups are not only making an important contribution to the future growth of our economy, but also providing an inspiration to countless others who may have the next big idea just around the corner.”

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Today’s start-ups are tomorrow’s global leaders and that’s why it is so important that the Start Up Loans Company provides not only the funding, but also mentoring, to help starts-ups thrive.”

The Government has set a target of awarding 30,000 loans with a total value of £151 million through the Start Up Loans scheme by 2015.

The help available from Outset Finance takes the mystery out of money for entrepreneurs, and the Outset teams work with the start-up businesses so that the loans are spent wisely; preparing them to start trading profitably and sustainably.

To find out more or apply for a loan, visit Outset Finance, call or email Outset Finance for further information.

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