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Virgin StartUp launches £36m loan pot for UK founders

Virgin StartUp
Image credit: Virgin StartUp

Virgin StartUp, the not-for-profit entrepreneurship scheme from Virgin Group, has launched a new £36m funding pot for UK founders.

The incubator, which was founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2013, said the new pot will allow it to triple the number of UK founders it supports over the next two years.

Over that time period, it will provide capital to around 3,000 early-stage founders. Virgin StartUp is distributing the cash on behalf of the Business British Bank’s Start Up Loan scheme, which it has been partnered with for a decade to allocate £70m to 5,000 UK businesses.

Virgin StartUp has previously backed several now-prominent UK startups, including DASH Water, Castore, NICE Drinks and Mous.

“In the past 10 years, we’ve had the pleasure of supporting 5,000 founders with a Start Up Loan and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this milestone than to announce that we will be funding many thousands more over the next few years,” said Andy Fishburn, managing director of Virgin StartUp.

“The Start Up Loan scheme makes starting a business a reality for many more would-be founders. We are proud to be part of their journey and we can’t wait to meet and support the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Research from the group published earlier this year found that 26% of UK adults were interested in setting up a business this year, with the number rising to 46% among 18-24 year-olds.

“I am delighted to confirm these two appointed BSPs, who will be fundamental in delivering our ambition to provide funding to those wanting to start a business as well as the support to do so.

“Both companies share the same passion and determination for supporting UK small businesses which is essential as business owners continue to grapple with a challenging economic landscape.