Start Up Loans scheme helps 55,000 firms

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Business Guide -

Since its launch in 2012, the Start Up Loans scheme has in­vested in more than 55,000 busi­ness with more than £400 mil­lion in loans na­tion­ally.

SWIG Fi­nance has been the South West de­liv­ery part­ner for the scheme fund since the start, since which time it has sup­ported al­most 1,500 of the re­gion’s start-ups with over £11 mil­lion along­side busi­ness sup­port and men­tor­ing. Busi­nesses trad­ing for up to two years qual­ify for sup­port, as do en­trepreneurs who may be tak­ing over an ex­ist­ing busi­ness.

The scheme can also pro­vide se­cond loans for busi­ness own­ers push­ing through a se­cond wave of growth.

Among the en­trepreneurs to have ben­e­fited from the fund is Char­ity Wil­son from Lan­ner, Re­druth, who de­vel­oped a soft­ware plat­form called Map­pix, de­signed to help teach­ers, chil­dren and schools, pro­vide ac­cu­rate as­sess­ments and re­duce pa­per­work.

Char­ity needed in­vest­ment to take the plat­form out of test trad­ing and launch it to a wider mar­ket and ap­proached SWIG Fi­nance for fund­ing. She says: “I needed fi­nance in or­der to mar­ket the plat­form and con­tinue to build and develop it. I worked with Aaron at SWIG Fi­nance who was re­ally help­ful. He talked me through the dif­fer­ent fund­ing op­tions and eval­u­ated the loan amount with me to make sure it was right for the com­pany and what I was try­ing to achieve as well as sup­port­ing with on­go­ing fore­cast­ing.”

Since re­ceiv­ing the start-up loan, Char­ity was able to take Map­pix to ex­hibit at the NAHT con­fer­ence in Liver­pool in May where they were in­vited to part­ner with the hosts who shared the plat­form with their cus­tomer base, lead­ing to great con­nec­tions with lots of schools.

Map­pixas now has cus­tomers us­ing the plat­form in schools all over the coun­try and in­ter­est has been re­ceived from as far away as the Cay­man Is­lands. Sales are con­tin­u­ing to in­crease and Char­ity is ex­pect­ing the launch of the lat­est up­dates to be even more pos­i­tive as the plat­form de­vel­ops.

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