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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Loans for young entrepreneurs to be extended

THOUSANDS more young people could get Dragons Den-style government loans to help them turn business ideas into reality.

Prime minister David Cameron said funding for the coalition’s Start-Up Loans scheme was being boosted by £30m to £110m over three years.

The age limit for applying was also being raised from 24 to 30 years old in response to “high demand”, according to Downing Street aides. Number 10 insisted the initiative was on target to issue more than 2,500 loans by March – despite criticism that only a few hundred worth £1.5m have been finalised since it was formally launched last autumn.

Some 3,000 people are said to have registered an interest in the money and mentoring packages, which are only available in England and being delivered through charities such as The Prince’s Trust.

Those whose business plans are deemed “robust” typically receive £2,500 which can be repaid over five years at a relatively low rate of interest.

Mr Cameron said: “Start-Up loans are an important part of my mission to back aspiration, and all those young people who want to work hard and get on in life, so this country competes and thrives in the global race. They are a great way to
help this next generation of entrepreneurs get the financial help – and the confidence – to turn that spark of an idea, into a growing, thriving business.

“It is by backing our entrepreneurs and championing small business that we can drive forward and grow the economy, and equip this country for the highly competitive era we are in.”

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