Start-Up Loans aid thousands of young businesses

More than 2,000 young entrepreneurs have signed up to the Government's start-up loans scheme, which offers Britons under 30 about £4,500 to help them start businesses.

The Start-Up Loans Company, chaired by James Caan of the Dragons' Den TV show, said it helped to launch 1,000 new businesses last month. After already distributing its £10m pilot spend, a £5.5m injection of funding has been approved in Parliament to fulfil its quota of young businesses until the end of the month. The Government has also made £117.5m available to fund the scheme up to 2015.

One recipient, Alissa Koopal, 26, from Liverpool, used her loan to help launch her company, Izzy Melody, which produces eco-friendly baby products made in the UK. "My loan application was rejected by the bank so I didn't think I'd ever be able to establish Izzy Melody," she said. "But within six days of applying for a Start-Up Loan, I was granted the £2,500 I needed and assigned a mentor who has provided me with vital guidance and support."

Mr Caan said: "Whilst we are well ahead of our target numbers, I believe we are only scratching the surface. Two thousand young and ambitious people have taken their future into their own hands. At the moment 40 people a day are launching their own business with Start-Up Loans."