By Marcus Leach

The government's new £82m loan scheme for young people wanting to create a business has been warmly welcomed by the British Chambers of Commerce.

Prime Minister David Cameron today (Monday), in a move to boost enterprise and economic growth, has launched the scheme that will allow people aged between 18 and 24 can apply for funds, expected to typically be about £2,500.

In launching the scheme Cameron said that "it's more than money. What they're getting are mentors - it's advice that really counts."

Commenting on the new scheme John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that the nation's smaller companies are as integral as the big corporates.

“We have some excellent businesses here in Britain that have been built up from scratch; companies that have become successes thanks to the drive and ambition of our entrepreneurs," he said.

"We cannot just rely on big businesses to drive the economy. Every business has to start from somewhere and it is these smaller, growing companies that will be integral to the future of the UK.

“But for many young people, the finances needed to get a business idea off the ground can deter them from starting up. This scheme will inspire more young people with a passion for business to transform their ideas into reality.

"If the loan scheme is successful, and we see more young people starting up businesses, it has the potential to benefit the economy, and tackle the problems of getting young people into work. Furthermore, schools and colleges should take an active role in encouraging young people to make the most of these opportunities.

“But there is still more to do to ensure that that new and existing companies can access the finance they need to start and grow, with the creation of a business bank helping to improve the flow of lending to UK firms. In the long-term, we need a bold, enterprise-friendly government to understand and support businesses of all shapes and sizes and help to squeeze every drop of potential growth from the private sector. Without this, the economy will continue to bump along the bottom for too long, rather than returning to growth.”

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