Reminder to young NI entrepreneurs as Start Up Loans reaches lending milestone

  • As the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme surpasses the £100m mark for funding to UK business owners aged 18-24, Gen Z entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland are reminded the programme can help turn dreams into reality.

    Overall in Northern Ireland, Start Up Loans has issued 1,776 loans worth almost £16m since the programme launched in 2012. In the 18-24 age range there were 227 loans issued locally worth just under £1.7m, while the most popular age range was 31-49 with total loans valued at just over £9m.

    Start Up Loans exists to help groups in society who would otherwise struggle to access finance from other sources.

    When it came to the Northern Ireland council area with the most entrepreneurial 18-24 year-olds, Mid-Ulster led the way with 38 loans issued. This mirrored the wider Start Up Loans picture in Northern Ireland as Mid-Ulster also had the biggest uptake in loans at 278 worth more than £2.6m.

    The other best performing council areas in the 18-24 age range were Belfast (31), Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (27) and Newry Mourne & Down (26).

    RELATED: British Business Bank publishes updated list of 696 companies in which the Future Fund has an equity interest

    Gen Z business owner supported by Start Up Loans

    Padraig Murphy, aged 24, is just one of the loan recipients in Northern Ireland who has taken his dream business and turned it into a reality.

    From his home in Whitecross, County Armagh, Padraig launched a business which specialises in thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted golf apparel.

    Padraig Murphy, founder of Murphy Golf said“I have loved golf all of my life and launching a business so closely aligned to the sport has been thoroughly enjoyable.

    “Applying for the Start Up Loan with Enterprise Northern Ireland was a straightforward process and the cashflow has enabled me to fast-forward my business. It’s something I would certainly recommend to others.

    “The loan has helped me research and source suppliers, invest in stock and get a marketing team on board. Before the Start Up Loan I had been trying to finance the business myself, which was slow, getting the loan really has helped things speed up.”

    Susan Nightingale, British Business Bank UK Network Director Devolved Nations said: “It’s amazing to see people in their late teens and early twenties with such ‘can-do’ attitudes and motivation to achieve success in working life.

    “I was delighted to see Padraig Murphy launch his Murphy Golf business. With the Irish Open taking place at Royal County Down this September and of course the Open Championship returning to Royal Portrush in 2025, the sport continues to increase in popularity in Northern Ireland.

    “Start Up Loans can help other young people realise their business ambitions just like Padraig and I would encourage them to find out more about the programme.

    “Young people in Northern Ireland have a real entrepreneurial spirit and help is there to let them access the finance they need to start and scale their businesses.”

    RELATED: Use of external finance in Northern Ireland showing signs of recovery

    Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

    “Every large firm started off as a small business and today’s aspiring young entrepreneurs could be the next success story. I urge them to explore how a Start Up Loan could launch their ambitions today.

    “Through the British Business Bank, and the Help to Grow campaign, we’ve backed the next generation of business leaders with over £100 million in government-backed finance and we’re not stopping there.”

    The funding milestone comes as the Start Up Loans programme launches a new information campaign aimed at students considering entrepreneurship as a career option so they can make their business dreams a reality.

    The advertising campaign is running across 54 UK cities including Belfast. Students simply need to scan the QR code on posters and screens around their college and university campuses and surrounding area to access the information.

    Source: Written from press release 

Share this story