British Business Bank expands Start Up Loans programme

Susan Nightingale
Susan Nightingale Susan Nightingale

THE British Business Bank has expanded its Start Up Loans programme in Northern Ireland, where it has already offered more than £12 million of support to around 1,000 local entrepreneurs since its launch in 2012.

The programme for start-ups provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6 per cent fixed interest rate a year and offers free dedicated mentoring for 12 months and support to each business.

The bank will now lend to start ups which have been trading for up to three years, while second loans will be available to eligible businesses trading for up to five years (it previously only applied to those trading for two years).

The expansion follows the 2021/22 Spending Review, at which the government made the commitment to provide 33,000 loans to the programme over the next three years.

Susan Nightingale, devolved nations director (UK Network) at the bank, said: “The extension of the programme will enable us to work with those businesses that had perhaps just got going when the pandemic hit or are ready to consolidate and grow their businesses now that they are back on their feet. We want to ensure that these businesses do not get left behind.

“We have always been committed to providing support and funding to smaller businesses with entrepreneurial ambitions across all industry sectors. Having delivered more than £12m in loans to Northern Ireland alone highlights our continued efforts to help people from diverse backgrounds achieve their business goals.”

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Northern Ireland people are some of the most entrepreneurial in the UK, which is especially true when it comes to micro-businesses, which make up 89 percent of the business community.

“By expanding on the £12 million in Start Up Loans Northern Irish businesses have already received, we can harness that pro-business culture and channel it into a bright future filled with jobs, growth, and sustainability.”