A British Business Bank start-up loan scheme has provided £40m of funding to Wales since its inception in 2012.
The British Business Bank, which is the UK government’s economic development bank with a UK-wide mission to provide business loans and capital, said the total funding is made up of 4,100 loans have granted to businesses in Wales under its start-up loan scheme. He said investment activity in Wales was proportional to the size of the Welsh business population compared to that of the UK as a whole.
Over the past decade, the scheme has provided just over £819million in loans to 90,552 businesses across the UK.
A recipient of the funding in Wales is graduate entrepreneur Aoife Dohery.
After noticing a gap in the eco-friendly stationery market, she decided to take out a £9,000 start-up loan to start Floris, a Cardiff-based zero-waste stationery business. She used the funding to help support the manufacturing of her design products and tools.
Gifted with a natural sense of creativity, she wanted to take the skills learned at university and turn them into a business. In the initial phase of developing her business, she had a stall in a local market, but due to restrictions and lockdowns, she had to think about how she could continue to grow her business in another way.
She decided to host an “online marketplace” through her website, which has been hugely successful.
Ms Doherty said: “I had the idea for Floris at university. When I graduated, with the lockdown, the job market wasn’t particularly good, so I just thought, ‘Now is the time to go out there and give it my all.
“I will never have another opportunity like this. Everyone is shopping online, let’s go.
” I have no regrets. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. »
Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start-Up Loans, said: “Offering over 90,000 loans and providing £800 million in funding is a milestone for the program and reflects the ambition and determination that small businesses across the countries have demonstrated in recent years.
“It’s great to hear the stories of Welsh business owners when they said ‘yes’ to becoming their own boss. Our Ambassadors often tell us that while starting a business can be nerve-wracking, saying “yes” and making a firm decision to go for it is half the battle. »
“Start-up loans offer many great resources for entrepreneurs who are about to say ‘yes’ to starting a business.
“Our pre-loan support program and our mentoring program once a loan has been granted means that all recipients are supported during one of the most exciting, yet daunting, decisions of their lives.”