Government issues 20,000th Start Up Loan to animation start-up Shakespuss & Co

Over £100m has now been awarded to start-up businesses across the UK

The government has announced that it has issued its 20,000th Start Up Loan taking its total lending to date to £100m, with children’s play company Shakespuss & Co Ltd its 20,000th loan recipient.

Funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), the Start Up Loans Company provides funding of up to £10,000 to entrepreneurs looking to start  a successful business.

Launched in May 2012 by Lord Young, the scheme, chaired by James Caan, was originally only available to those aged 18-30 but 55 year-old Shakespuss founder Melissa Mailer-Yates has benefitted from last year’s removal of the age cap.

Shakespuss, which develops animated characters aimed at introducing children to Shakespeare’s plays, will receive £6,000 which it intends to use to support its official launch in December.

Shakespuss & Co Ltd founder, Mailer-Yates, said:

“I have extensive international interest in my product, and this seed-funding has given me the opportunity to bring it to market.

“Hopefully it will lead to children all over the world dragging their parents to the UK to visit the birthplace of Shakespuss, and subsequently result in a younger generation keen to explore the wonders of Shakespeare and the English language.”

Discussing how the government-funded initiative has hit two thirds of its 2015 target of 30,000 Start Up Loans with a total value of £151m so far, business secretary Vince Cable commented:

“The economic hardship we’ve experienced over the last few years has not stopped the flow of business ideas and people wanting to start up their own companies.

“This British entrepreneurial spirit, backed by our loan scheme, will help create the iconic companies of the future. Reaching this milestone shows how fertile the ground is for enterprise.

“The people behind these start ups are not only making an important contribution to the future growth of our economy, but also providing an inspiration to countless others who may have the next big idea just around the corner.”

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