WSX Enterprise has been awarded a Government contract to provide start-up loans for young people aged 18-24 looking to start their own business.
The national scheme, which is currently as the pilot phase, will now be available in Hampshire and Surrey.
Under the scheme, loans of an average £2500 will be made available for new business ideas that are submitted for approval between now and the end of March 2013. Interest is fixed at 6% and the new entrepreneurs will have up to 5 years to pay back their loan. Crucially, each applicant will be assigned the support of a business mentor who will work with the young person to develop the business idea and prepare the business for launch.
"We are very excited to be leading this fantastic new opportunity for young entrepreneurs" said Jonathan Morris, Managing Director of WSX Enterprise. "Young people have some of the best ideas and this innovative loan and mentoring project will enable a lot of new entrepreneurs to take their first step into business."
It is hoped 150 new businesses will be supported in this initial phase, and the scheme will also offer continued support to the new businesses, once they have started trading.
"New businesses that receive mentoring support are twice as likely to survive and grow" said Rachel Cheetham, Programme Manager. "Combined with the offer of funding to pump prime the new enterprise, we think this is a massive opportunity to support young people who are considering starting their own business".
Full details of the scheme can be found at: www.wsxenterprise.co.uk/start-up-loans
Note to Editors: WSX Enterprise is a not for profit company delivering enterprise support across the South of England to support new and emerging businesses. It is the operating subsidiary of Southern Enterprise Alliance.