Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, says it has now awarded £5.6m of funding to 854 businesses in the North East.

The organisation says that it has provided more than £100m worth of funding to business owners aged between 18-24 years old, equating to more than 15,000 loans since the programme launched in 2012.

New data also reveals the most entrepreneurial constituencies in the region. Newcastle upon Tyne East has received the highest value of loans (£325,170) followed by Tynemouth (£310,732) and Middlesbrough (£295,521) respectively.

The Northern Echo: How the loans break downHow the loans break down (Image: Submitted)

The funding milestone comes as the Start Up Loans programme launches a new information campaign aimed at students considering entrepreneurship as a career option so they can make their business dreams a reality.

The advertising campaign is running across 54 UK cities, and students simply need to scan the QR code on posters and screens around their college and university campuses and surrounding area to access the information. In the North East, the campaign will run at Northumbria University halls, South Tyneside College, Tyne Metropolitan College and the Newcastle University student union.

Creating social value New data shows that the programme’s impact has been particularly noticeable among young entrepreneurs from across the UK, with 16.5% of all loan recipients aged 18-24 being unemployed before they got their loan.

Of all the loans distributed to entrepreneurs under 25, 39% have gone to female business owners and 24% to business owners from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The Northern Echo: Sophie Dale-BlackSophie Dale-Black (Image: Submitted)

Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network Director for the Midlands and North of England, British Business Bank said: “It’s amazing to see people in their late teens and early twenties with such ‘can-do’ attitudes and motivation to achieve success in working life.

“Our £100 million funding milestone is a significant landmark and testament to the hard work of Start Up Loans and its business support partners, in giving people with a good business idea, no matter their age, the chance to access the funding needed to bring it to life.

"We’re determined to keep backing aspirational young people with money and mentoring.”

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Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Every large firm started off as a small business and today’s aspiring young entrepreneurs could be the next success story. I urge them to explore how a Start Up Loan could launch their ambitions today.

“Through the British Business Bank, and the Help to Grow campaign, we’ve backed the next generation of business leaders with over £100 million in government backed finance and we’re not stopping there.”

The Start Up Loans programme helps people start or grow their business and is part of the government-owned British Business Bank’s remit to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. They can borrow up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum and repay the loan over one to five years. The programme also provides 12 months of free business mentoring.