News & Events

James Caan to chair new Board to distribute £82.5m on behalf of Government

5 July 2012,  London, United Kingdom

Support for next generation of entrepreneurs to start their own businesses

Former BBC Dragon’s Den star James Caan has been approached by Lord Young, advisor to David Cameron on Enterprise, to help the Government drive an initiative to provide start up loans to young people across the country.

On appointing Mr. Caan as Chairman of the Board of StartUp Loans, Lord Young says: “James Caan understands enterprise in this country and is passionate about helping young people to have the tools they need to start their own business. He’s also someone who gets things done, and with him as Chairman of StartUp Loans, I am confident that we will be able to kick-start the businesses of many young entrepreneurs contributing to a new generation of successful and growing UK small firms. ”

As Lord Young publishes his latest report on Small Firms in the UK, the first since 1979, the country finds itself in a position of a million young people unemployed. Drawing on his expertise in running businesses, Lord Young’s initiative of providing small loans to young people to start their own business, aims to put the responsibility of creating jobs for the young, in the hands of the young people.

Young people across the country, from 18 – 24 years old will have the opportunity to access on average £2,500 to start their own business. Every recipient of the loan will be provided with an expert mentor who will be able to provide much needed guidance, a sounding board and networks to help the young entrepreneur along the way.

James Caan is committed to ensuring that the allocation of funds is treated in the same way as an investment. He says: “Those who we have selected on the board are all experts in delivering results. Every individual has their own area of responsibility and therefore I’m confident that we will be able to reach the thousands of young people who are desperate to start their own business.”

Assisting Mr. Caan as Board Members of StartUp loans, are a ‘dream team’ of professionals including John Spence OBL DL, chair of the Spicehaart Group; David Hutchison, CEO of Social Finance; Julie Meyer, CEO of Adriane Capital; Roland Rudd, founder of Finsbury Communications; Bev James, CEO of The Academy Group (which includes to Entrepreneur’s Business Academy); Duncan Cheatle, founder of The Prelude Group and co-founder of StartUp Britain; Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of The Social Investment Business and Philip King FICM, former CEO of The Institute of Credit Management.

Board member Julie Meyer comments, "The best way to solve unemployment is to create employment. Startuup Loans is tackling the core of the problem by enabling young people to build the jobs which they'll love. Loans are better than grants as they train the recipient that they are an investment in them, and an expectation is in place.”

Bev James, Board Director responsible for Mentoring says: “The mentors are a critical part of the programme. We aren’t just providing cash, but intelligent capital – a combination of money and expertise, essential to ensuring a greater chance of success in your business.”

The £82.5 million StartUp Loan scheme launched today will give our next generation of entrepreneurs the finance and support to potentially start over 30,000 new businesses, in a move to boost enterprise and economic growth.

Any young people aged 18–24 accessing the StartUp Loans can expect to receive expert and personal support to help develop a business plan and access training. Where the business plan is robust and approved, they will be able to access financial support in the form of a loan typically in the order of £2,500 with a repayment period of up to five years.

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