Following a high profile Downing Street launch, national enterprise campaign ‘StartUp Britain’ has hit the road and will arrive in Leeds next week on the way to helping the number of UK businesses started in 2015 to reach a record 600,000.
At the launch on Tuesday, surrounded by entrepreneurs, David Cameron announced that the target set for the government-backed Start Up Loans company three years ago of awarding 30,000 loans to entrepreneurs by 2015 has been achieved. 350 loans, worth £1.97 million have been made to individuals in Leeds and 2,319 loans, worth £12.23 million, to people across the Yorkshire and Humber region as a whole during this period.
For a fourth year, the campaign is touring Britain with a bus full of startup experts and champions, to provide inspiration and support to tens of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs. As one of 25 stops across the country, the bus will be parked in Briggate from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 2nd July.
Joining leading small business software company Sage as a headline sponsor of the tour, RBS is providing its iconic 1966 Routemaster bus, the NatWest Mobile Business School, wrapped with campaign branding to catch the eyes of passersby on the high street and on the open road.
Government backed Start Up Loans Company and Upwork, the world leader in online work, are also supporters. On board, the sponsors will be giving one-to-one advice and workshops to aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs, while local business organisations will provide mentoring and local guidance.
The tour’s national partners include FSB, British Chambers of Commerce and UKTI, which recently launched the First Time Exporters Initiative to provide advice and support to help companies expand into international markets.
The bus will have made stops at Canary Wharf, in Newcastle town centre and Birmingham’s Centenary Square on its way to Leeds and will go on to visit Cardiff, Edinburgh, Inverness, Bristol, Brighton and Plymouth among many others.
StartUp Britain director, Matt Smith said: “Since StartUp Britain launched in 2011 we have seen record breaking numbers of people each year starting businesses, showing that the entrepreneurial spirit within Britain continues to grow.
“By parking the bus in town squares across the country, we want to give people the confidence and inspiration to turn their business ideas into reality.”
Start Up Loans is a £310 million government-funded initiative that provides startup support in the form of a repayable loan together with a business mentor for individuals hoping to start up a business across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.