The government is to extend its popular Startup Loans scheme.
The programme, which extends loans to young entrepreneurs, will receive an extra £34 million in funding – enough, the government says, to support around 7,600 businesses.
Meanwhile the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) will be extended for new starters until the end of 2014. The NEA has supported some 26,000 businesses, and the government says that the new extension will provide mentoring to a further 60,000 people.
The Startup Loans scheme is currently available to entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30, but the upper age limit is set to be removed. The scheme provides mentoring and loans, which are administered by delivery partners across the country.
While the Startup Loans scheme has been popular, this week it emerged that the programme has only provided support to 8,000 new businesses – a small proportion of the 35,000 people who have registered their interest.
Announcing the extensions, the Prime Minister said: “I am determined to do all I can to support the British economy and that includes helping small businesses and budding entrepreneurs to get on. I the last two years we have helped tens of thousands of people to turn their ideas into viable businesses, and this additional support will help thousands more.”