Welcome to Financing Start Up Enterprise, part of the Financing Enterprise family. We’re here to help you start your own business. Tell us about yourself, and your idea HERE
As a trusted delivery partner of The Start Up Loans Company we have helped more than one thousand businesses start up or expand existing trading throughout London and the South East. More information about how the scheme started, plus nationwide news and resources can be found here.
Start Up Loans Fraud Alert
“We have been made aware that someone is making “cold calls” and claiming to be the Start Up Loans Company, even using our London address to try and convince people of their authenticity. Their aim is to defraud and we are, of course, conducting a thorough investigation. The Start Up Loans team do sometimes call loan applicants and recipients to gather feedback on the programme, but we would not ask for payment of any kind. Please be vigilant and, if you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Start Up Loans are available to businesses yet to launch or those that have been trading for up to 12 months, although in certain circumstances this may be extended to 24 months. The scheme provides free business planning prior to lending any monies ensuring applicants are in the best possible position to receive funding. Once an individual receives their repayable loan they will also be given access to an expert mentor, free training course and business offers.
Lord Young, Godfather of the scheme, identified that if entrepreneurialism was as entrenched into the British mentality as it is in the United States, we would potentially have 900,000 more jobs across our country. With the job market still tough, self-employment is being seriously considered as a viable career path.
With this logic in mind, The Start Up Loans programme was created within The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is headed up by The Secretary of State Vince Cable. It was designed to go some way to help solve the problem of supporting people who have a feasible business idea but no access to finance. With a view to providing a robust SME sector of tomorrow, The Start Up Loans programme aims to equip enterprising individuals with the tools needed to make their businesses a success.
In May 2012, Lord Young approached James Caan to take on the role of Chairman of The Start Up Loans Company.
Start Up Loans do not work alone however, and it is here that Financing Start Up Enterprise fits in, as a delivery partner for the scheme we handle applications from start to finish and then ensure that any money which has been lent is repaid in line with the original agreement.
So far the schemes success speaks for itself. By the end of the pilot period in March 2013, The Start Up Loans Company had exceeded all expectations, finishing under budget yet over target. Securing further funding from Government indicated both the appetite for being self-employed and the feasibility of the scheme.
So now you know about the scheme itself you're probably ready to find out more about the process we put our applications through.
Obviously not every application is the same, but below is an example of how we try to frame each case that comes to us. Below is a step by step guide on how you should start and how your application will be treated by us
Think of an idea
If you've come this far, you probably already have an idea of what you want to do to as your own business.
If you haven't but still think self employment and being your own boss is for you, then think of what passions you have, what you enjoy doing, and how you can turn that in to something from which you can make a living.
Now that you have your idea, and know how you'll shape it to make it into a viable business, you're probably raring to go and want to get an application in straight away.
But first, we'd advise you to do some research in to what you'd need to get things moving - how much do you think you'll need to start up and sustain the business? How do you plan to operate? What is the competition like? These are all things you'll need to know in the future, why not look in to it at the beginning and make sure you still want to move ahead?
Submit Your Application
Now you've done enough research to answer the questions in our application form, you should submit it straight away so that we can assess the application and ensure that you're not already working with another delivery partner for the Start Up Loans scheme.
All applications are checked by a team of our staff who will then assign you a contact to keep working with you through out the initial process.
Complete a Business Plan and Cash Flow Forecast
All our applications must have a Business Plan and Cash Flow Forecast explaining the details of how you plan to operate. these are assessed by one of our professional advisors before any meetings can take place.
We have templates for the documents which you can download and edit if you wish to, these are often found incredibly helpful by applicants, even those who have already completed their own business plan as they look to view what standards we might expect from self written plans.
If you do already have a self written business plan, you can submit this at time of your application.
We regret that we have a policy of not signing Non Disclosure agreements for new applications and business plans, but can assure you that each application is treated within the laws set out in the Data Protection Act and that none of the information will be passed along to third parties without your prior consent.
Meet and Adviser
One of the most important steps for applicants is for them to meet with one of our advisers and talk through the business, the plan you've submitted and answer any other questions you might have about the scheme as a whole or business itself. We have a range of advisers who either work directly for Financing enterprise or work for a third party. Whoever you end up working with, you will have access to the best advise we can offer.
We like to hope that this initial meeting will be enough for our adviser to make a recommendation to lend, however in many cases there will still be a need for you to continue to work on your application and shape it into something the adviser would feel comfortable putting their recommendation to.
Final Review and Draw-down
After your plan is submitted, you've met with an adviser and they are happy to recommend the case it then needs to be put through a final stage of approval. As part of this we will require certified proof of identification (which is normally taken during your initial meeting with an adviser) and proof of address.
If the application passes these checks, a member of our team will draw up an agreement and forward it to you by email - you'll need to sign and return this to our office along with an original direct debit mandate before we can forward any agreed loan to your bank account.
Financing Start Up Enterprise is part of a national campaign to help people who are determined to start a business, by providing loan finance and a wide-ranging menu of advice and support.
Do I Qualify?
To qualify for support from Financing Start Up Enterprise you must be either starting a new business or in your first two years of trading. Some other terms and conditions apply. You can apply for a loan whether you are employed, unemployed or studying at the time of application.
We regret that you may only use one Start Up Loans provider, so if you have already received a loan from an alternative delivery partner, we will be unable to help you – please give us a call if you are unsure.
What do I get?
If you can convince us that you have a good idea and a viable business plan and you meet the terms and conditions of the programme, you will be able to borrow enough money to start your business. This can be repaid over a period of up to five years, on which you will be charged interest of 6% per annum (6.2%APR).
You can also get advice, assistance and training from our business support partners, and if you are successful with your application you will qualify for a number of exclusive offers that will help your business start up and expand.
How do I apply?
Please click here and complete the short form. Once submitted, one of our team will send you details of the next steps, usually within four working days.
If you have any questions call us on 020 8366 8244 or email email@example.com
What does it cost?
Mentoring, advice and support are provided entirely free, as part of the commitment of H.M. Government and those running Financing Start Up Enterprise to help people into self-employment. If you are successful in getting a loan, interest will be charged on the reducing balance at 6% (6.2%APR). You will be told exactly what the monthly payments (payable by direct debit) will cost you.
We will charge you no lending fees whatsoever.
If any of the offers made by any of the partners involved in the scheme involve a cost you will be told exactly what that is prior to purchase.
What if I don’t qualify?
If you are unable to borrow from Financing Start Up Enterprise for any reason, it may be that we can still assist with a loan or other support through the North London Credit Union. Please call us on 020 8366 8244 or e-mail info@FSUE.co.uk and we will try and help.
Can I view the terms and conditions for Financing Start Up Enterprise’s application and loan process?
Yes, the full terms and conditions can be viewed HERE – so that we can be as ‘up-front’ about the terms and conditions as possible, we also provide a link to them on every page of our website in the footer section.
How are you at making decisions and being the boss?
When you start a business, you’re the one that has to make all the decisions and live with the results of your choices. This is one of the aspects of starting a business that some would-be-entrepreneurs look forward to- when you’re working for someone else, it’s easy to think that you could do better, but it can be a very daunting prospect. There are, of course, various resources and people that can help you, but in the end it is down to you. Do you thrive or collapse under that kind of pressure?
Is it all about the money?
The truth is that starting a business costs money. In most (if not all) cases, you will have costs before you have any income, let alone profit. You will need something to live on while you get this new business off the ground.
While the Start Up Loans Scheme doesn’t expect you to contribute financially (as a traditional lender would). it is important to be realistic about how much you need and what for. The scheme only offers personal loans that you are responsible for repaying regardless of how well (or not) the business does.
Creating a solid business plan will help you to plan for most contingencies and realistically factor in your costs. We can introduce you to a business advisor, who will help you review the plan, but you need to understand that the financial risks are your own
Are you flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances? How do you handle mistakes?
How we handle change and setbacks is a combination of personality and experience – picking ourselves up when we’ve been knocked back is hard, but it is also essential to survival.
Consumers are fickle, markets change and if you can’t alter your approach in time then business will suffer.
Are you good at following through on your ideas and plans?
Thinking before you act is good, but if you are the sort of person who puts off until tomorrow what you could do today, or if you often fail to complete tasks, you might find running a business tough!
Are you good at planning?
From day one – in fact well before this, when your new venture is but a twinkle in your eye – you’ll need to plan.
According to The Times 100, as many as a third of new businesses in the UK fail in their first three years, with ‘poor business planning’ being a key reason.
Lenders won’t consider making available finance without a well thought-out business plan, but more importantly, a good plan will help you stay focused, make decisions and deal with set-backs, which is one of the reasons lenders want to see it!
Are you a people person? Could you at least pretend or get a close friend to deal with them?
No matter what kind of business you start, you’re going to have to spend at least some time dealing with others. Even if your new business doesn’t involve dealing with customers face-to-face, you will still have to negotiate with suppliers and answer enquiries at some stage in order to succeed.
We have seen businesses successfully operate with one person who does all the people side and one who doesn’t, but you would need to work very well together and have a clear plan if something goes wrong.
Do you like to take risks?
There’s a perception that successful entrepreneurs are all big risk-takers, but in reality, successful entrepreneurs look for opportunities with an acceptable level of risk, which can be mitigated or managed.
Look at the Dragons – even with all the investment money at their disposal, you have to be very special to get a penny of it – you have to demonstrate that the likely benefits outweigh the potential risk to their money.
Are You ready?
Are you ready to start out on your own? Try this lighthearted quiz to find out!
Many people dream of starting a business, but worry it’s not the right time, that they don’t have the ‘right’ personality or that they’ll fail.
These questions may help you decide whether or not to take the plunge, or at least give you lots to think about and help you plan to avoid the problems – be blunt with yourself or get an honest friend to give you a second opinion.
Mentor and pass your experience to the next generation of entrepreneurs
We are always looking for new mentoring recruits to help our loan recipients, so if you would be interested in passing on your knowledge to somebody just starting out in business for themselves please read on.
Everyone needs help to grow and develop their business, in fact statistics show that new ventures seeking mentoring are 50% more likely to succeed than those without help. That is why we feel mentoring support is just as important for our loan recipients as the funding itself.
Whether the need is for an impartial person to run through an idea or to brainstorm with, or just to speak to someone who’s done it before, the mentor will be regularly available to help and discuss the entrepreneurs with their business.
PR opportunities for your own business
We care about our mentors and believe that by helping each other, we can increase everyone’s profile.
For example, we provide the chance to share top tips, guides and our own business stories through blogs, forums and social media.
Furthermore, you will have access to our Financing Enterprise Network, in which you can provide offers and discounts for your own business products or services to our client list, as well as being able to invite start-ups to business related events or pop ups.
First of all, please take some time in reading through the Job Description, after this you may wish to review the Mentor Code of Ethics. In order to best understand your role as a mentor. Once you are ready to apply CLICK HERE to fill out our short online form.
Once all is in order you will be contacted for an interview and mentor training.
You must be prepared to be a mentor to any of our clients, regardless of background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, etc. and follow our volunteering guidelines.
Mentoring & Support
To someone starting out in business, advice and guidance can be just as important, if not more so, than money. That’s why the Start Up Loans Company insists that every entrepreneur who gets a loan through the scheme also gets access to a mentor.
Whether the need is for an impartial person to run through an idea or to brainstorm with, or just to speak to someone who’s done it before, the mentor will be regularly available to help and discuss the entrepreneur's with their business.
There are some misconceptions about what the Start Up Loans Mentoring scheme can provide for its recipients
Being a sounding board for your mentee's ideas.
Look at any plans, research and so on with them, as an impartial, independent pair of eyes.
Providing the benefit of your experience to make suggestions, encouraging your mentee to think about things in a new way.
Being accessible, (within reason).
Doing their work for them. You wouldn't expect somebody else to write a business plan for you nor should they.
Being disrespectful of their ideas or plans. If you don't think something will work, suggest another way, but at the end of the day it's their decision and sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn from them.
Answering calls at all hours.
Providing technical advice (we have a Helpline facility for this).
No start up can succeed without a lot of help, even huge multinationals known in every household had help along the way, and on this page we're going to let you know about some of the great offers which are exclusive to recipients of a Start Up Loan. Here we highlight some of the best value for money offers, however there are many more listed on the Start Up Loans website