social impact report & annual statement

Start Up Loan - Up To 25K Loan

How much can I borrow?

Start or grow your own business with a government-backed Start Up Loan delivered by BEF. Borrow up to £25,000 at a fixed rate of 6% per annum. Repay over 1 to 5 years with no penalty for early repayment.

Personal loans for business use up to £25,000

Start or grow your own business

A Start Up Loan is a personal loan for business purposes for a term of 1 to 5 years at a fixed rate of 6% per annum. Applications must be aged 18 or over at the time of the application. A credit check will be completed.

Start Up Loans is a Government-funded scheme which provides fixed-interest loans and mentoring support to aspiring business owners from across the UK who might be struggling to access other forms of finance.

A subsidiary of the British Business Bank, the scheme supports employment, enables economic growth, and has a transformational impact on the lives of thousands of people.

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Start or grow your own business today.

  • Most business types are eligible to be funded with a Start Up Loan.
  • Founders who are starting a new business or have been trading for less than 3 years (36 months) can apply.
  • Up to 4 co-founders can apply per business.
  • Borrow up to £25,000 per co-founder (average loan size = £11,000).
  • 12 months of free post-loan mentoring.
  • No arrangement or early repayment fees.

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Our Impact

As a not-for-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we provide flexible finance to businesses who can not access mainstream lending:

  • 70% of our Start Up Loan recipients are aged 25 - 44.
  • 41% of our Start Up Loan recipients are women.
  • 22% of our Start Up Loan recipients are from Black, Asian and other Ethnic-Minority backgrounds.

Over the last 11 years we've:

  • Supported over 4,833 businesses with £108m of investment.
  • Added over £392m to the economy.
  • Helped create or safeguard over 13,140 UK jobs.
  • Helped create over 2,170 new UK businesses.

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Please note:

  • Start Up Loans are only available to UK residents and your business must be registered in the UK
  • Individuals can receive one loan per business
  • This is a personal loan and you remain responsible for repayment at all times
  • Defaulting on the loan may affect your credit rating and prevent you from obtaining credit in future
  • Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) is a business support partner covering Yorkshire, The Humber, and the North East for the Start Up Loans scheme. The scheme has additional support partners across the UK.
  • BEF is not the lender of funds. BEF acts as a Credit Broker for the purposes of this loan application and we receive a fee of £600 or £575.00 for every successful first loan application drawn down and the same fee again for any subsequent lending

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Representative example for loan provided under Start Up Loans Company:

£10,000 loan repayable over 5 years. 60 monthly payments of £193.33. Fixed interest rate of interest 6% per annum. Total amount of credit £10,000.Total interest payable £1,599.80.Total cost of credit £1,599.80. Total amount payable is £11,599.80.

This is an illustrative example for a loan of £10,000. Loans of up to £25,000 are available from the Start Up Loans Company (SULC). Rates and terms will vary for other loan products from BEF should you not be eligible for a SULC loan. Further information is available on enquiry.

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Legal notice:

The Start Up Loans Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc. It is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, registration number 08117656, registered office at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, England, WC2H 9JQ.

British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn't here, please get in touch via our contact us page.

How do I apply for a Start Up Loan from BEF?

To apply for a Start Up Loan, simply complete our online application form.

You will be required to provide key business information with your Start Up Loan application. This includes a business plan, cash flow forecast and personal survival budget.

A template is available for you to download. This will help you organise your business idea, develop your plans and figure out how to make your start-up work.

You may also wish to download guidance notes to help you.

Am I eligible for a Start Up loan?

To be eligible to apply for a Start Up Loan, you must fit the following criteria:

  • You’re 18 years of age or older
  • You’re a current UK resident
  • You’re starting a new business or have been trading for up to 36 months
  • You’re unable to secure finance from other sources (self-declaration is ok)
  • Your business is based in the UK
  • You have the right to work in the UK
  • Your business type and loan purpose is eligible under terms of the scheme
  • You pass the Start Up Loan Company credit checks and you can afford to repay the loan

Apply for a Start Up Loan now.

Where can I learn more about running a start-up business?

Start Up Loans has partnered with The Open University to offer a range of free courses ideal for people who are going into business for the first time.

The courses provide rich information covering subjects such as:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Career and Leadership
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Sustainability
  • Project Management

Explore the courses.

Is a Start Up Loan a grant?

No. A grant is a non-repayable fund provided by an individual or an organisation for a particular purpose, whereas a Start Up Loan must be repaid in full over an agreed term of one to five years. Apply for a Start Up Loan now.

If you would like additional support please talk to your local growth hub. New and growting businesses (up to 3 years old) based in the Leeds City Region can access hands on support from our partner, AD:VENTURE.

Can I blend a Start Up Loan with an AD:VENTURE grant?

Yes, you can. AD:VENTURE grants are applicable to businesses in the the Leeds City Region. BEF work closely with AD:VENTURE to deliver the best possible finance and support to businesses in the region.

Apply for a Start Up Loan now.

What factors do you consider when you assess applications?

There are three main areas that your Business Adviser will consider when they’re reviewing your Start Up Loan application: your credit worthiness, whether or not you can afford to take on the loan and whether your business is viable.

Credit worthiness: As part of your application, you will be required to have a credit check that reviews your past and current financial behaviour. While a poor credit history will not prevent you from securing a Start Up Loan in all instances, this part of the application process is part of our commitment to responsible lending and helps us ensure our applicants don’t overburden themselves.

Personal affordability: As Start Up Loans are personal loans used for business purposes, you will be liable for repaying your loan even if your business plans change in the future. While Start Up Loans are non-secured (you do not have to put forward any collateral to guarantee the loan) you will need to fully repay the loan and any interest due over the course of your agreed loan term. The Personal Survival Budget that you must submit with your application, which outlines your key sources of personal income and any expenses you incur each month, supports us in making this assessment.

Business viability: A key factor in our lending decision is ensuring that your business is going to generate enough money to help you meet your monthly loan repayments. To help us assess this, you therefore need to demonstrate that there is sufficient demand for your product(s) and/or service(s) and that you will be able to reasonably achieve all of the goals set out in your Business Plan and Cash Flow Forecast.

Are there fees involved?

No, there are no fees involved in either applying for or receiving a Start Up Loan, and no fees for the support we provide during and after the application process. Other than your monthly loan repayments, you will never be asked for any fees or other payments.

Can I choose my loan term?

Yes, you can choose a loan term between one and five years depending on your affordability and preference. Please note, if you are in the UK on a visa, you will need to repay your loan and all associated interest at least six months prior to your visa expiry date. Regardless of your final agreed loan term, you will be required to make monthly repayments.

Are there any rules around how I spend the money?

Start Up Loans are personal loans that are used to start a new business or grow an existing business that has been trading for less than 36 months. Your loan can be spent on a wide range of things related to your business, like equipment and stock, a premises, marketing and promotional expenses to name just a few. It’s important to note however that you must be able to describe your intentions for your loan within your business plan and cash flow forecast and explain how this will help you start and/or grow your business.

There are a few activities that cannot be funded with a Start Up Loan, including debt repayment, training qualification and education programmes or investment opportunities that do not form part of an on-going sustainable business.

How many Start Up Loans can I apply for under the scheme?

Every individual can only apply for a Start Up Loan for one business, so if you own multiple business ventures you will only be able to access finance for one of them. However, if after successfully securing a Start Up Loan you later require additional funding in order to grow and develop that same business, you may be eligible to apply for a Second Loan. You would need to go through a new application process and must have made at least six months of full loan repayments prior to applying. In addition, your total outstanding loan balance cannot exceed £25,000 at any one time.

Can I use a Start Up Loan to fund training, qualifications or education?

Start Up Loans are designed to finance the initial costs of starting and developing a business, and therefore cannot be used to fund the following activities:

  • Debt repayment
  • Training, qualifications or education programmes
  • Investment opportunities that do not form part of an on-going sustainable business

What happens if I miss a payment?

A Start Up Loan is an unsecured personal loan for business purposes issued to an individual applicant. The applicant remains solely responsible for the repayment of the loan, even if their business fails.

If you fail to make a payment, Start Up Loans’ finance partner will contact you to determine why you missed the payment and work with you to come to a reasonable and fair agreement about how you’ll address it.

The Finance Partner will also report this to credit reference agencies, which may affect your credit rating.

How can I access the resources and skills my start-up needs without hiring a member of staff?

As a start-up owner, you may not have enough hours in the day to get through everything on your desk. You may also find it difficult to commit to hiring people. Paperound is here to help. From marketing to social media management to customer services to admin, Paperound is a marketplace for busy small business owners to access student resource, on-demand.

UK Students (‘Taskers’) can be booked for as a little as one hour on a task-by task-basis, and founders only pay when the work is done.

Find a Tasker now

Our Offer

Flexible finance to help you start or grow your business.

Fixed rate Start Up Loans

Finance available for up to 100% of the funding need. Repayments on Start Up Loans are unaffected by interest rate changes.

Personal tailored service

Your application will be managed by a dedicated member of our friendly Start Up Loan team.

Lending decisions made by humans

You are recognised as an individual and your business is assessed in the same way.

Find support to help you through your application here

The application process

Please complete your application on the Start Up Loans website

Following a quick eligibility check, you will be asked to register your personal details, complete a credit check, and submit your business information and supporting documents. Once completed, one of our Investment Managers will review your application.

Need help with your application? Contact our Investment Management team

Apply Now

What our clients say

Our clients tell the story best, see how Start Up Loans helped them.

Chique photography logo

“We were put in touch with Julie from BEF. She was absolutely brilliant and gave us all the help and advice we needed”

“The shop needed a lot of work to complete it so I used my own savings to get it just right. I then used BEF’s funding to help fill it with stock.”

“We'd like to say a huge thank you for all the support we've received from everyone involved in maketing Spark:York happen.”