Evaluation of Start Up Loans - Final report

Coinciding with reaching the milestone of lending £500m to entrepreneurs, SQW's final report from the evaluation of Start Up Loans has been published.

Formed in 2012, the Start Up Loans scheme provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6% fixed interest rate per annum and offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business. SQW was commissioned by the British Business Bank in 2014 to undertake an evaluation of the programme. The publication of this final Year 3 report marks the end of a long-term study to provide evidence on the impact and value for money of the scheme, as well as insights to inform its ongoing development.

The report concludes that value for money, as assessed via turnover/GVA from start-up businesses against the economic costs of running the programme, has improved over time. The economic benefits were assessed to be up to six times the economic costs. In addition, the report assesses the characteristics of those individuals that benefited the most from the programme, and offers evidence and lessons to the British Business Bank on aspects such as the target groups for the scheme, the take-up of mentoring, and the role of regional and local delivery.

The report can be downloaded here.

Details on the £500m milestone reached by the scheme can be found here.