£100m in 20,000 start-up loans

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The Government has made its 20,000th Start-Up Loan - to a portrait artist in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Start Up Loans Company has now offered more than £100 million to entrepreneurs wanting to set up their own business.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The economic hardship we’ve experienced over the last few years has not stopped the flow of business ideas and people wanting to start up their own companies.

“This British entrepreneurial spirit, backed by our loan scheme, will help create the iconic companies of the future. Reaching this milestone shows how fertile the ground is for enterprise.

“The people behind these start ups are not only making an important contribution to the future growth of our economy, but also providing an inspiration to countless others who may have the next big idea just around the corner.”

The government has set a target of awarding 30,000 loans, with a total value of £151 million, through the Start Up Loans scheme by 2015.

The average is £5,300.