Dragons' Den Comes to Wandsworth

Start up loans being made available to local businesses

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A scheme chaired by James Caan from TV's Dragons' Den has so far given out nearly three quarters of a million pounds to start ups in the borough of Wandsworth.

The Start Up Loans Company has helped 123 local people set up their own business. Wandsworth was the first council to work with the £117m scheme, chaired by James Caan from TV's Dragons Den.

The council and Start Up Loans joined forces a year ago, and since then have approved loans totalling more than £738,000, with an average loan of £6,000 per applicant.

Nearly two thirds of the loans went to 18-30 year olds and half the recipients were women.

The Start Up Loans Company is a government-funded initiative that provides start-up support in the form of a low-cost repayable personal loan together with a business mentor for entrepreneurs. The partnership has smashed its first year target of helping to start 20 new firms, with more than six times more than that now trading.

Some of the entrepreneurs given loans were invited to a special reception hosted by the Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Angela Graham. These start-ups included an on-line fashion retailer, a specialist recruitment agency, a photographer and a pet care provider.

Cllr. James Cousins, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Business Partnerships said: “The council’s partnership with Start Up Loans is proving to be a fantastic success, with well over a hundred more firms up and running as a direct result. It is very encouraging that so many Wandsworth residents were successful in their applications.”

Find out more about Start Up Loans, or apply online, at www.startuploans.co.uk


April 8, 2014