By Daniel Hunter

The first Start-Up Loans to young Northern Irish entrepreneurs will be made this summer, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today (Monday).

Budding entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30 will have access to the £117 million Start-Up Loans fund which has been successfully piloted in England.

Loans will be made available through delivery partners, with The Prince’s Trust and the School for Start-Ups already confirmed and agreement expected shortly with Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Ulster Community Investment Trust.

"Northern Ireland has one of the youngest populations in Europe so it’s vital we encourage young people to back themselves to succeed," Vince Cable said.

"This welcomed extension will encourage even more young people to be entrepreneurial with access to finance, as well as professional mentors who can offer knowledge and expertise about how to run a successful enterprise.

"The Start-up Loan scheme has gone from strength to strength during its pilot in England with 5,000 loans worth £26m already committed. The lack of an established credit history is a barrier for young people looking to access business finance. I hope Start-Up Loans will help many budding entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland."

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