Government plan to remove age cap for Start Up Loans

The government has indicated that it will remove the upper age limit on applications for Start Up Loans.

The announcement comes as part of a package of measures approved following Lord Young’s recommendations on small businesses.

Start Up Loans are currently available to would-be entrepreneurs between the age of 18 and 30. The removal of the upper age limit was one of the headline recommendations in Lord Young’s report.

More than 5,000 of the loans have now been made. They are unsecured, and come with a comprehensive programme of business mentoring. The Start Up Loans Company, which is chaired by James Caan, has a total pot of over £100 million from which to draw, and it is expected that this will be expanded.

The government has now called on the Start Up Loans Company to draw up a plan for removing the age cap. It is not clear when this will occur.

Meanwhile the government also announced the impending introduction of a new Growth Voucher scheme, worth £30 million. This scheme is designed to encourage small businesses to buy in specialist help in areas like marketing and financial management.

Note, the upper age limit for Start Up Loans was removed in 2013. Loans are available to entrepreneurs aged 18 and over. As of 2018, over 51,000 businesses have received loan support. James Caan stepped down as chairman of the Start Up Loans Company in 2015. Additional funding has since been added to the Start Up Loans pot, with over £350 million lent so far.

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