Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, launches the Start-Up Loans programme in Northern Ireland

Four local organisations have been selected to be the initial roll out partners for the Start-Up Loans programme to Northern Ireland.

Launched by Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the local organisations will be working directly with the Start-Up Loans Company which aims to provide support for budding young entrepreneurs aged 18-30.

The Start-Up Loans programme aims to provide at least 250 loans in the next twelve months with the Enterprise Northern Ireland and Prince’s Trust networks leading the way.

 (Left to Right): Megan Downey (School for Start Ups); Gordon Gough (Enterprise Northern Ireland); Mark Dougan (Prince’s Trust); Phelim Sharvin, (Ulster Community Investment Trust Group (UCIT).

The Northern Ireland initial roll out partners named locally are:

1.    Enterprise Northern Ireland;
2.    Ulster Community Investment Trust Group (UCIT);
3.    Princes Trust Northern Ireland;
4.    School for Start-Ups.

The programme which is currently in operation in England has already committed more than 5,000 loans to entrepreneurs in the 18-30 year old bracket.

Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said today:

"Following the success of the pilot in England, expansion to the rest of the UK is underway, with NI first in line. I'm delighted that Enterprise Northern Ireland, Prince’s Trust, Ulster Community Investment Trust Group (UCIT) and School for Start Ups have come forward in the first wave of providers.

“Despite being aimed at those aged 18-30 initially, Government has recently accepted Lord Young of Graffham's recommendation to lift the age cap and is working with the Start-Up Loans Company and the Northern Ireland providers to put plans place to deliver this. “

Speaking on behalf of the group selected to deliver the Start-Up Loans programme in Northern Ireland, Gordon Gough, Chief Executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland said today:

“Stimulating entrepreneurship remains an important challenge for Northern Ireland and it is our job as the initial delivery partners to encourage greater entrepreneurship here.

As a group we have deep understanding of the determinants of early stage business start-up and we know that there is a connection between higher rates of entrepreneurship and overall economic prosperity. In that respect we are excited by the roll out of the Start-Up Loans fund in Northern Ireland and what it aims to achieve.

I believe the initial group in place to deliver the Start-Up Loans fund in Northern Ireland will energise the prospect of greater entrepreneurship here, and help to assure those who lack confidence to take the leap and develop their own business safe, in the knowledge that the advice, funding and support  that they require is available. 

We welcome this initiative to Northern Ireland by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and encourage those who meet the criteria to come forward and access the loan fund.”

Further information about the loan fund can be obtained by contacting the Enterprise Northern Ireland office on 028 7776 3555.