Yorkshire and the Humber is fast becoming a hub of entrepreneurship, according to new figures from the Start Up Loans Company, which show that it has lent £40m to new business owners in the region since the scheme launched six years ago.
The figures suggest that entrepreneurship is thriving in the region, with aspiring business owners turning to the Government-backed scheme to achieve their ambition of becoming their own boss.
James Abbott, 26, the founder of Mix & Twist, a mobile cocktail bar service that people and businesses can hire for private events, received a loan of £4,000 to set up his own business in Leeds.
The business employs bartenders and “mixologists” to make cocktails for parties and events such as birthdays, weddings, hen parties and corporate functions. Its mixologists have worked at events for many high-profile organisations including Sky, Thomas Cook and Adidas.
Employing three full-time staff and sub-contacting around 50 professional event staff, Mix & Twist has achieved significant success and now operates nationwide. During the busiest times of the year, the business attends up to 15 events a week.
James Abbott, founder of Mix & Twist, said: “Although I’ve always had a dream to become my own boss, I needed access to capital in the early stages to get my idea off the ground”
“With the help of the Start Up Loans Company, I was able to use my loan to buy all of the equipment I needed to set up Mix & Twist. The business has since gone from strength to strength, and we are now looking to set up an online event platform to focus on smaller events as well as the larger ones we already attend.”
A total of 4,861 new business owners in Yorkshire and the Humber region – and more than 59,000 across the UK – have received low-interest loans from the Government-backed programme since it was set up in 2012, with the average loan in the region amounting to £8,038.
A Start Up Loans Company spokesman said: “It’s great to see Yorkshire and the Humber continuing to cement its position as an entrepreneurial hub, with so many people starting their own businesses with the help of our low-interest loans.
“Start-ups are a critical part of our economy and we’re delighted to see the growth in self-employment across the region.
“Setting up a business can be tough, which is why along with our financial support, we offer all Start Up Loan recipients free mentoring to ensure they are supported along their journey.
“It is our aim to help as many new and early-stage businesses in the UK as possible and we look forward to supporting many more aspiring business owners in Yorkshire and the Humber.”