social impact report & annual statement

Start Up Loans North East England

Start or grow a business in the North East of England

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, all the way to North and South Shields, Newcastle, Gateshead, then down to Sunderland, Durham, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough, people with cool ideas and ambition are turning their dreams into real, successful businesses. They're all set to make things better by growing the economy and opening up new chances for everyone.

Starting your own business is tough, especially when you need money to kick things off. A big problem is that most places that lend money want you to promise something valuable, like a house, in case you can't pay them back. But what if you're just starting out and don't have anything like that?

That's where a Start Up Loan can really help.

What is a Start Up Loan?

It's a special kind of loan for people just like you who want to start their own business in the North East but don't have the big stuff to promise in return. This loan gives you the cash you need to get your North-East based business idea off the ground, and you don't need to put up any collateral or security for it.

Key features

  • Loan amount: Borrow up to £25,000 (BEF average loan size = £11,000).
  • Interest rates: 6% fixed. Take advantage of a low interest rate to help start or grow your business.
  • Repayment terms: Enjoy flexible repayment options spanning 1 to 5 years.
  • One Business, Four Loans: Up to four partners or directors can each apply for a Start-Up Loan for the same business.
  • Additional benefits: Take advantage of no arrangement fees, no early repayment fees, and up to 12 months of complimentary post-loan mentoring

How much will I repay if I borrow £11,000?

£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.

Client testimonial

The Great North Eastern Brewing Company

Established in September 2015, The Great North Eastern Brewing Company brews real ale which it sells by the cask or keg to pubs, clubs and hotels in the north east and beyond. BEF have supported the business with a Start Up Loan followed by a further investment of £100,000.

The investment provided working capital to expand sales to hospitality businesses based in Edinburgh, York, and the lake district, with the business recently being added to the suppliers list at a leading high street pub chain.

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.

Why choose BEF?

The BEF North East Team

BEF is more than just a place to borrow money; we're a trusted partner who really wants you to do well. We're all about helping people get the money they need to start their dreams.

So far, we've helped over 5,000 people start their journeys with £20 million in Start Up Loan cash.

Here's what we do:

  • Tailored Support: We get that every business is different, so we fit our help to match what you need and what you're aiming for.
  • Real People Making Decisions: No cold, heartless computers here. Our friendly and experienced Investment Managers are the ones who make the call.
  • A Trusty Sidekick: We're here to offer you flexible money options to help you start and when grow.
  • Teaming Up: We work closely with the British Business Bank to help new businesses in the North East, the Humber, and Yorkshire.

How do I get a Start Up Loan from BEF?

Getting a Start-Up Loan is a simple process:

  1. Online Application Submission
  2. Credit Check and Initial Review
  3. Business Plan and Document Assessment
  4. Interview
  5. Decision and Loan Offer
  6. Acceptance and Funding

Usually, our team of Investment Managers will help you finish everything up within six weeks after you apply.


Of course, you might have some questions. Here are some of the most common ones we get about Start Up Loans for businesses in the North East. If you have more questions, feel free to get in touch with us.

Do I qualify for a Start Up Loan?

Start Up Loans are designed for individuals who meet 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
Do BEF lend to women-led start-ups in the North East?

Yes, we do. Around 40% of all loans support women-led businesses. We welcome your application.

Do BEF lend to ethnic minority-led start-ups in the North East?

Yes, we do. Around 20% of all loans support ethnic minority-led businesses. We welcome your application.

How can I use a Start Up Loan once approved?

You can generally use the loan for things like day-to-day costs, premises, equipment, stock, marketing, bringing on new team members, or other ways to build your business. Still, we suggest explaining how you plan to use the money in your application, so it matches up with what the loan is meant for.

What documents are required for a Start Up Loan application?

Usually, you'll need to show us your Business Plan, Cash Flow Forecast, Personal Survival Budget, and Personal Bank Statements from the last three months. Don't worry, one of our friendly Investment Managers will let you know if we need anything else from you.

Can I apply for a Start Up Loan if I have a poor credit history?

We look at every application carefully, considering more than just your credit history. Even if your credit isn't perfect, it doesn't mean you're out of the running. We suggest talking with an Investment Manager about your particular case to figure out the best way to move forward.