social impact report & annual statement

Start Up Loans for businesses in the North East

Start or grow your business with a Start Up Loan up to £25,000.

The North East is a hotbed of innovation and creativity. Once heavily reliant on traditional industries like coal mining and shipbuilding, the major towns and cities across County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland are now vibrant hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship.

From Berwick-on-Tweed to Morpeth and Blyth, from North and South Shields to Newcastle to Gateshead, from Sunderland to Durham to Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, aspiring business owners are ready to transform their canny ideas and passion into thriving businesses, driving economic growth and creating new opportunities for all.

At Business Enterprise Fund (BEF), we're not just another financial institution; we're your dedicated partner, your advocate, and your supporter in every step of your business journey. We understand that starting and scaling a business in the North East comes with its unique challenges and opportunities, and that's precisely where we excel.

We've supported hundreds of business across the North East with flexible finance to help them begin, expand, and flourish.

“I have dealt with Doug Heseltine for 7 years now and would like to say that this business would not be at the stage it is without his help and the help of BEF hopefully the business will continue to grow so credit is due to you.”
- Paul Minnikin, director, The Great North Eastern Brewing

Fulfil Your Business Aspirations with Flexible Finance

Our mission is clear: to help individuals like you to turn your dreams into reality. Whether you're working to launch your game-changing idea or grow your existing business, BEF is here to fuel your aspirations. That's why we deliver Start Up Loans, a government-backed initiative designed to provide you with essential funds and support.

What is a Start Up Loan?

A Start Up Loan is an unsecured personal loan specifically tailored to individuals eager to launch a ground breaking concept or expanding an existing venture in the North East.

These flexible loans eliminate the need for collateral or guarantors, making them an accessible financing option for businesses of all sizes.

A Start Up Loan can be used for a wide range of business purposes, including equipment, stock, premises, marketing, and promotional activities.

Key Features

  • Loan Amount: Up to £25,000 per individual (BEF average loan size = £11,000)
  • Interest Rate: Fixed 6% per annum (year)
  • Repayment Term: Flexible 1 to 5 years
  • Fees: No arrangement or early repayment fees
  • Mentorship: 12 months of complimentary post-loan mentoring
  • Partner Eligibility: Up to four partners can apply per business (maximum of £100,000 per business)

Representative Example

£11,000 loan repayable over 5 years. 60 monthly payments of £212.66. Fixed interest rate of interest 6% per annum. Total amount of credit £11,000.Total interest payable £1,759.60.Total cost of credit £1,759.60. Total amount payable is £12,759.60.

This is an illustrative example for a loan of £11,000. Loans of up to £25,000 are available from the Start Up Loans Company. Rates and terms will vary for other loan products from BEF should you not be eligible for a Start Up Loan. Further information is available on request.

Find out how much you could afford to borrow with BEF's Start Up Loan calculator.

Am I eligible for a Start Up Loan?

To be eligible for a Start Up Loan you must meet the following criteria:

  • Age: 18 years or older
  • Residency: Current UK resident
  • Business Status: Starting a new business or trading for up to 36 months (3 years)
  • Alternative Financing: Unable to secure finance from other sources
  • Business Location: Based in the UK
  • Work Authorisation: Right to work in the UK
  • Business Compliance: Adheres to scheme guidelines
  • Creditworthiness: Passes credit checks and demonstrates affordability

Supporting Diversity

BEF recognises the significant contributions that women-led and ethnic minority-led businesses make to the North East's economy and social fabric. We are committed to fostering an inclusive business environment by providing tailored support and resources to these businesses, empowering them to achieve their goals and thrive.

Currently, 41% of our Start Up Loans support women-led businesses while 21% of our Start Up Loans support businesses led by ethnic minority founders.

Why Choose BEF for Your Start Up Loan?

BEF is more than just a lender; we are a trusted partner committed to the success of our clients. We believe in providing comprehensive support that goes beyond financial assistance. Our team of experienced business advisors will guide you through every step of the process.

Here's why you should choose BEF for your Start Up Loan:

  • Personalised Approach: We understand that every business is unique, and we tailor our support to meet your specific needs and goals.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team of experienced business advisors will provide you with valuable insights and guidance throughout your journey.
  • Extensive Network: We connect you with a network of resources and support services to help you succeed.
  • Ongoing Mentorship: We provide 12 months of free post-loan mentoring to help you navigate the challenges and opportunities of running a business.

Ready to Transform Your North East Business?

To start or grow your North East-based business, apply for a Start Up Loan today. With BEF as your partner, you'll have the tools and support you need to transform your business dreams into reality.

Alternatively, find out more about Start Up Loans or contact us with your questions.

Apply for a Start Up Loan
Woman in the North East happy to have received a Start Up Loan from BEF.