Suffolk: StartUp champion urges young entrepreneurs to apply for loan scheme

YOUNG people hoping to start their own businesses can now get help from a new �82million national fund.

Under the new StartUp scheme, people aged from 18 to 24 will be able to borrow up to �2,500 to be repaid within five years, with interest charged at the level of the Retail Prices Index plus 3%.

Young people on the scheme will also receive a year’s free mentoring from local business experts and a free copy of the book StartUp Loans Kits authored and edited by Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain,

Bury St Edmunds-based entrepreneur Tim Meadows-Smith, who has taken on the role of Suffolk StartUp champion, said the scheme would provide enthusiastic young entrepreneurs with the support and back-up they were likely to need in their first year to help their businesses to succeed.

Mr Meadows-Smith, who is on the advisory board of StartUp Britain, spearheaded the launch of StartUp Suffolk earlier last month with a Grow Your Business conference at the Apex in Bury, with further events in the pipeline for Lowestoft, Ipswich and Bury throughout the year. He was also at the national launch of the loan scheme by Lord Young of Graffham, the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Adviser.

Lord Young said the UK would have 900,000 more businesses if it had the same rate of entrepreneurship as the US and that “many don’t realise the opportunities that enterprise offers”.

He added: “There are one million young people out of work. By opening up funding which will cover the cost of starting up, we hope to create an environment where setting up on your own is viewed widely as a real and valid career choice.

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“Small businesses are the engines of any healthy economy”.

For help in accessing the funding and preparing a business plan visit .