Last year Lord Young published a report entitled Make Business Your Business focussing on start-ups and small business development which led to the launch of the Start up Loan Scheme. The scheme was co founded by the peer along with serial entrepreneur and former Dragon's Den regular James Caan aimed at helping business ideas launch. A typical loan can be up to £4,500 along with mentor support for applicants. The scheme exceeded expectations by 50% in its first year with 3,768 loans offered worth approximately £16 million. All profits from repaid loans are recycled back into the scheme.
In his second report Grow your business; A report on growing micro businesses Lord Young proposes a serious of measures for the scheme's expansion. Micro businesses, those with 10 employees or less, make up 95% of all UK businesses and Lord Young highlights their increasing importance to the success of the British economy. Businesses that grew with help from the Start Up Loan Scheme have since gone on to become employers and it is this employment potential that Lord Young feels is the key to economic recovery. One of the many proposals in the report include a removal of the scheme's age cap, currently at 30, so that more entrepreneurs can have access to support. Other proposals include;
- implementation of a £30 million Growth Voucher scheme to better help micro businesses with workforce expansion, advice on marketing, financial management, and online growth
- an increased role of business schools in local economy including the establishment of the "Supporting Small Business Charter" with an award scheme to incentivise business schools to help with SME growth
- greater private sector advice to be made available through the Government's website
- marketing of government schemes aimed at providing resources and support targeted at the micro businesses most in need.
It is very much true that Lord Young brings solutions to the table – his excellent report highlights the steps we can take to fire up business growth, helping to boost our competitiveness and ensuring the UK can get ahead in the fierce global race we are in. I thank him very much for his report. - David Cameron, Prime Minister
The steps identified by Lord Young in his report are not only aimed at economic recovery at a national level but to encourage business growth that would also help the UK stay ahead on a global scale. The Government is currently reviewing Lord Young's report with a view to implementing his proposals later in the year.