Loans set to unlock the potential of young entrepreneurs in Scotland

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A GOVERNMENT loan scheme set out its commitment to unlock the talent of thousands of more people across the UK by helping them to start their own business.

Since 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered over 2,290 loans to unemployed people in Scotland, worth over £10.2m.

Since 2012, 43% of people to have received Government-backed funding in the country were unemployed.

Employment - Scottish News
The impact of Coronavirus on the UK’s economy has resulted in many reconsidering their careers, whether because of additional time to reflect during lockdown, furlough, or a change in employment status.

Of the 80,000+ Start Up Loans recipients across the UK since 2012, a third (31%) were unemployed at the time of application.

Start Up Loans data also indicates that the scheme is particularly effective in enabling young entrepreneurs to start up a business, with millennials representing more than half of all previously unemployed loan recipients since 2012.

The Start Up Loans scheme has also seen this trend continue with the youngest generation of entrepreneurs, with double the number of 18-24 year old applicants using the scheme as a route out of unemployment in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Start Up Loans scheme was initially set up as the UK economy was recovering from the 2008 credit crisis, with a mission to make business ownership a viable career for individuals who would struggle to raise finance.

Loans - Scottish News
The scheme is set to help the economy rebuild after the impact of Covid-19, providing funding for people starting up their own businesses.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans said: “Start Up Loans is uniquely positioned to drive the nation’s investment in creative, entrepreneurial talent of any age, thanks to our extensive network of delivery partners and support services.

“As well as a loan, we support individuals with the practical steps they need to take to begin their own enterprise from writing business plans, accounting and marketing, as well as access to learning with partners such as The Open University.

“It is paramount that we do everything to empower the next generation of young working talent, who have an important part to play in unlocking the UK’s economic recovery, by giving them every chance to succeed, whatever their circumstances.”

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Julie Di Toro and her partner, Sam Barker, took out a Start Up Loan in two parts in August and September 2020 to launch Mistral, an independent wine shop.

Julie Di Toro, Founder of Mistral, said: “We’ve always known that we wanted to open up our own place, but when the pandemic hit and both of us were left unemployed, we decided that now was as good a time as any to turn our dream of owning our own bar into a reality.

“Starting a business in the pandemic meant we quickly learned how to think on our feet.

“Our initial intention was to set up a wine bar, but due to restrictions we instead had to branch out into the retail space.

“This was an unknown territory for us but, thankfully, the mentoring we received from Start Up Loans helped guide us through any hurdles.

“Being your own boss is a tricky thing to get used to; you have yourself to thank for the good decisions, but the mistakes are your responsibility too.”