Start Up Loans celebrates 100,000 loans worth more than £941 million to UK businesses 

February 2, 2023
  • Since launching in 2012, the Start Up Loans programme has delivered over 100,000 loans worth more than £941 million, to businesses across the UK
  • The economic impact of the loans is estimated to be more than £5.3 billion
  • West Midlands has 8,278 loans (8.2%) worth more than £76 million

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, announces that the programme has facilitated over 100,000 loans worth more than £941 million to businesses throughout the UK. The figure marks a significant milestone for the programme since its creation in 2012.

Businesses in the West Midlands have contributed to this through 8,278 of the loans, 8.2% of those taken out across the country with the amount being worth more than £76 million.

Of the 8,278 West Midlands loans, 40% have been to women and 26% to people from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities). Young people between 18-24 years old have received 18% of loans since 2012.

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership supports the work of the British Business Bank in providing access to finance for businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Current SUL Ambassador for the West Midlands, Nirmla Warwood, founder of Thatch and Stone, an interior accessories company, took out her loan of £25,000 in 2020 to start the business.

The loan not only allowed Nirmla to start the business but provided her with the means to expand the business rapidly where she experienced a 57 per cent sales increase the following year in 2021.

Nirmla Warwood, Founder of Thatch and Stone said: “I founded Thatch and Stone in what for everyone was a time of uncertainty with the pandemic, however the process with the Start Up Loans and British Business Bank was clear and straight forward and made me feel reassured with starting this business.

“Now we are a few years in and the business is doing well with the help of what has been provided to me – 100,000 loans have now been provided and it is easy from my perspective to see why.”

The 100 thousandth loan was drawn down by James Fraser, owners of Ramen Electra in St Albans, Hertfordshire. 

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans said: “Start Up Loans is instrumental in supporting people across the UK who are looking to start their own businesses, and passing our one hundred thousand loan milestone is an amazing achievement ten years in the making. We could not have achieved this without the dedicated support of our Delivery Partners, UK network or in-house team and I’d like to take this chance to thank them for everything they do to make our work possible.”

This announcement follows the recent news that Start Up Loans has become an official partner of the StartUp Award Series 2023, as well as the launch of the British Business Bank’s Guide to Business Resilience, a guide created in response to the economic challenges faced by small businesses in 2023. Covering eight key topics for business success, the guide provides practical and actionable guidance for start-ups on what they can do to reduce costs, boost profitability, and increase the resilience of your business, whatever the future holds.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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