Start Up Loans passes £39m funding milestone, delivering over 4,000 loans across Wales

The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans  programme today announces it has passed a major milestone of £600m worth of loans delivered outside of London, £39m of which has been delivered to start-ups in Wales, via over 4,000 individual loans.

Start Up Loans provides mentoring, support and funding to aspiring business owners in every corner of the United Kingdom and its impact has been particularly noticeable among  individuals who might find it difficult to secure finance from traditional lenders.

Swansea received the highest number of loans in Wales, with a volume of 529 (14%), worth more than £5m, followed by Cardiff where £4.5m was distributed across 489 individual loans.

Of the 4,019 Start Up Loans delivered in Wales, £3.2m (8%) were provided to Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority business founders, and more than 30% of all loans were supplied to young entrepreneurs aged 30 and below.

Case study: Clare Pledger, Founder, House of Curls, Cardiff

Start Up Loans recipient Clare Pledger, from Cardiff-based firm, House of Curls, an e-tailer specialising in curly and natural hair products, who received a £20,000 Start Up Loan via Business in Focus said:

“I discovered the incredibly passionate curly hair community on social media after an accident where I broke my wrist and was unable to style my hair properly. I decided to document how I managed this period of washing and styling my thick, coarse, curly hair one-handed on Instagram, and from that, House of Curls was born.

A lot of people with hair like my own still find it difficult to find the products to care for their hair. With House of Curls, I wanted to create a space that had everything in one place, easy buying access to all these amazing products, along with information and help.

My British Business Bank Start Up Loan was instrumental in establishing House of Curls and was used to create our e-commerce website and purchase stock. Without it, we wouldn’t be where we are today, and this year we turned over £300,000.”

Bethan Bannister, UK Network Senior Manager – Wales, said:

“Providing £600 million worth of funding to new businesses outside of London is a huge milestone for the government-backed Start Up Loans programme and reflects the broad diversity and ambition of the nation’s small businesses at a grass roots level across the whole country.

“We have always been committed to providing support and funding to SMEs that hail from each corner of the country, particularly in areas of deprivation where people may struggle to access funding, and this milestone is tribute to that.

“We are proud that our loans, mentoring and support for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs is helping to support the Build Back Better agenda and we’re delighted to have been able to help House of Curls make their dream into a reality”. 

UK Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “There is so much creativity and dynamism in Wales and across the UK, but without access to funding and support it’s difficult to fully unlock the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great.

“Wales gave the world such inventions as the microphone and radar, a legacy which dynamic new businesses like House of Curls are taking forward.

“The Start Up Loans programme has helped a diverse range of entrepreneurs across the UK to get their business ideas off the ground, levelling up the entire country and enabling talented business leaders from all backgrounds to flourish.”


Breakdown of loans by region excluding London

UK Region Loans Made Amount Lent (£) Average Loan Amount (£)
East Midlands 4,883 41,863,670 8,573
East of England 6,106 55,471,473 9,085
North East 4,875 42,506,048 8,719
North West 10,881 94,240,374 8,661
Northern Ireland 1,356 11,049,064 8,148
Scotland 5,626 47,044,172 8,362
South East 8,378 81,207,421 9,693
South West 7,487 66,003,753 8,816
Wales 4,019 38,961,700 9,694
West Midlands 7,264 63,655,522 8,763
Yorkshire and The Humber 7,497 68,748,296 9,170
Region not obtained 185 2,164,521 11,700
Total 68,559 612,916,012 9,115


Start Up Loans figures up to 31 August 2021.

About Lisa Baker, Editor 2423 Articles
Lisa Baker is the Editor of Always Finance, and writes about Business, Finance Technology and Healthcare. Lisa is also the owner of Need to See IT Publishing.