Government commits £1 billion to support small businesses Finally, good news! The UK government's £1 billion commitment is here to transform entrepreneurship and empower a new and diverse generation of leaders. Written by Stephanie Lennox Updated on 13 September 2023 Our experts We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. Written and reviewed by: Stephanie Lennox Writer In a significant move to bolster small businesses across the United Kingdom, the UK government has allocated £1 billion through its Start Up Loans scheme. This initiative, designed to aid entrepreneurs in launching and expanding their enterprises, has now extended financial support to over 100,000 businesses nationwide.Delivered through the state-owned British Business Bank, the Start Up Loan programme was established by the government in 2012. Its primary objective was to offer affordable financial resources and mentoring support to new and early stage UK businesses that lacked sufficient personal funds or assistance from friends and family.This scheme has excelled in fostering entrepreneurial talent from diverse backgrounds, levelling the playing field for anyone aspiring to establish their own small business in the UK. Notably, it underwent an expansion last year, allowing eligible businesses with up to 5 years of operation to access financing for their growth.A look into the futureKevin Hollinrake, the Small Business Minister, comments:“We're fulfilling the Prime Minister's commitment to stimulate economic growth and position the UK as the premier destination worldwide for commencing and expanding businesses. Through one billion pounds in government-backed loans, we've provided support to promising entrepreneurs across all four nations and every region of the UK. My aim is to witness even more innovators reach their full potential.”Start Up Loans have been distributed to businesses in every parliamentary constituency in the UK, with a significant proportion granted to enterprises outside of London and the South East. The North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions have received the largest portions of the loans, securing £121,619 and £89,997 respectively.And of the £1 billion, £371 million (40%) has been lent to female business owners and £201 million (20%) has gone to people from Black, Asian and other ethnic backgrounds.Derek Mackenzie, CEO of Investigo welcomed the news, stating: “Gaining access to funding stands as one of the most formidable challenges for entrepreneurs. It's heartening to learn that this investment directly empowers a new generation of women leaders and supports individuals from various backgrounds. By unlocking the potential of individuals from diverse walks of life, we can cultivate more robust businesses that not only drive economic growth but also enrich society at large. The enduring impact of this investment hinges on enabling fast-growing companies to access highly skilled individuals proficient in the latest AI and digital capabilities to drive future growth.”Apply for a Start Up LoanTo apply for a government-backed Start Up Loan of £500 to £25,000 to start or grow your business, click here.The government website also notes that successful applicants will receive free support and guidance to help write their business plans, and up to 12 months of free mentoring. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Tags News and Features Written by: Stephanie Lennox Writer Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 11 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.