By Claire West

Start-Up Loans, the £112 million Government scheme created to help young people to start their own business, has now supported its 1000th young entrepreneur.

When the Prime Minister announced an extension of the Start-Up Loans initiative in Preston, Lancashire on the 3rd of January this year, 500 businesses had received Start-Up Loans and free mentoring in the last 5 months of 2012. In the first five weeks of 2013 another 500 businesses have been launched.

Prime Minster, David Cameron said:

"This clearly demonstrates the ambition and drive people in this country have to create a business and I am pleased that Start-Up Loans are helping more and more entrepreneurs who start small but think big transform their ideas into viable, growing businesses. I am on the side of people who want to work hard and get on in life, and it is by backing aspiration and the businesses of tomorrow, as well as the businesses of today, that we are equipping the UK to compete in the global race."

The Start-Up Loans initiative was created to give young people a huge boost to get their businesses off the ground. Applications have also more than doubled in the last month, from 3,000 to over 8,300 in January. The current target of backing, with funding and mentoring, over 100 businesses a week is well in hand.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

“Start-Up Loans is going from strength to strength. The UK has a proud history of innovation and enterprise and this scheme is helping to unleash that entrepreneurial streak for the next generation.

"But we are in a competitive world and there is still more to do. I want as many 18 to30-year-olds to benefit from Start-Up Loans as possible - we need this momentum to be just the tip of the iceberg."

The programme is available to anyone between the age of 18 and 30 whose business is in England. A low cost loan and free first class mentoring means anyone with a great idea and the passion to make it work can now start their business with a Start-Up Loan.

Elena Mingus, Tangle Design was the first to benefit from a loan under this initiative. She received her loan, of £2,500 in August 2012, and used it to open her high street boutique in Bury offering a bespoke dress-making service. Elena’s business has become very popular and she has recruited one dressmaker last year and taken on another freelance in January.

Loan one thousand is going to Charles De-Souza of the DTMI Group. He received a loan of £1,500 at the end of January which will enable him and his three partners, to organise a youth arts festival this summer in London celebrating theatre and music. The goal is that during the week young people will be inspired and create something that they then showcase to others.

The businesses that have been backed by Start-Up Loans have all received help putting together their plan and pitch, have secured start-up funding and are now all undergoing business mentoring as they start their business.

The entrepreneurs come from all over England and have businesses in a wide range of industries from fashion to music, food to e-commerce, digital to fitness.

James Caan, Chairman of Start-Up Loans said:

“I am thrilled to see the momentum we have gained and that hundreds of young people every week look to start their own business.

“In the beginning, we started 500 businesses in five months. We have now achieved 500 businesses in five weeks. This goes to show that people across the country have the passion to be entrepreneurs, but just need a helping hand and that’s what Start-Up Loans is all about.”

“The fact these young people are creating employment brings me enormous satisfaction. If each of the businesses we start creates two or three jobs that will be a hundred thousand jobs created by this initiative alone.”

“We still have big challenges ahead. We have to raise awareness of Start-Up Loans throughout all of England so every young person knows about this programme. We have to make sure every young person realises the help and support we offer means they can turn their ideas into an income.”