social impact report & annual statement

Ageless ambition: Start Up Loans provide £14m boost to entrepreneurs over 50 in Yorkshire and the Humber

13% of loans issued in Yorkshire and the Humber have gone to entrepreneurs over 50, totalling £14.1m.

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today announces that it has delivered more than £140m of loans to UK entrepreneurs aged 50+ since its inception in 2012. The programme has supported 13,422 loans, at an average of £10,427.

Of these loans, more than £14.1m has gone to business owners over the age of 50 in Yorkshire and the Humber. 1,286 loans have been issued to businesses, with an average loan amount of £10,969.

Start Up Loans has delivered more than £13m worth of loans nationally to the over 50s in the financial year running 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024. This represents a significant contribution to national efforts to encourage people aged 50+ back into work through a variety of initiatives designed to help stimulate economic growth.

Nationally, almost half (£64m) has been delivered since the first Covid-19 lockdown, with 4,664 issued since April 2020 with a value of £63,928,454, reflecting an average loan of £13,707 per business. That’s an average increase of more than £2,600 compared to the four year period before Covid-19, reflecting the difficult operating conditions businesses have been facing.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, 442 loans have been delivered since the first Covid-19 lockdown, providing a total of £5.7m.

Leeds-based Turn Your Business Round is just one example of such a business that has continued to grow since receiving a Start Up Loan

Brigitte Dove, Founder of Turn Your Business Round

After a career in marketing and advertising, Brigitte wanted to use her skills to earn money and serve clients at the same time. Noticing a high percentage of female-founded businesses fail due to lack of confidence or knowledge of the corporate world, Brigitte applied for a Start Up Loan via Virgin StartUp to set up Turn Your Business Round.

She acts as a wraparound business mentor and marketing advisor to female founders. Brigitte offers a 1-2-1 mentoring programme and is in the process of developing an evergreen online course. The Start Up Loan allowed Brigitte to develop the website and invest in initial marketing materials, such as photography, as well as investing in running and promoting live events for female founders.

Brigitte has a bright vision for the future of the business, with plans to grow the team and employ someone to manage social media, as well as acquiring permanent business premises. With a rebrand on the near horizon, she also plans to continue developing the live events side of the business, hosting more live events and a Female Academy of Business (FAB) retreat later this year, with external speakers, networking opportunities and a business crash course.

Commenting on the success of Turn Your Business Around, Brigitte said
: "I reached a point in my life where I was ready for a career change and had the chance to start over. I noticed women have great ideas and visions, but a lack of confidence in business and marketing amongst the general female population is highly prevalent."

"That’s where I wanted to slot in as a support system, advising on both business and marketing. “The Start Up Loan I got through their partner Virgin StartUp meant I’ve been able to put my plan into action, and I’m now focusing on developing the business offering – I want to host events and retreats to bring female founders together and grow the female founder community.”

Dr Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network Director for the Midlands and North of England, Start Up Loans said
: "As Brigitte demonstrates, you can further your business ambitions at any age. It’s why we encourage anyone with a good business idea to get in touch and learn more about how the Start Up Loans programme might be able to help turn it into reality. It is interesting to note the high proportion of the funding during and after the pandemic, suggesting that many people of 50+ re-evaluated and took action to pursue their business ambitions."

The Start Up Loans programme helps people start or grow their business and is part of the government-owned British Business Bank’s remit to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. They can borrow up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum and repay the loan over one to five years. The programme also provides 12 months of free business mentoring.

Do you need a Start Up Loan to start or grow your business?

We can help you secure the finance and support your business in Yorkshire and the Humber. So far, we've helped over 5,000 people start their journeys with £20 million in Start Up Loan cash.

Learn more about a Start Up Loan and how to apply for a Start Up Loan.

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