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Startup Loans - we look at three ‘success’ stories

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by Startacus Admin

By providing around £4,500 per loan, the Startup Loans Scheme, has provided 2000 young English Entrepreneurs with the cash injection that they need to start ‘that business’. Combine that with the right mentoring and support programme and it is understandable why this government led scheme is building in popularity at present.

One delivery partner for the Startup Loans scheme is the Doug Richard led School For Startups’ Launcher programme which combines government-backed startup business finance from the Start-Up Loans Company, with access to a School for Startups one-day bootcamp, online community and mentoring at no extra cost.

school for startups launcherWith this in mind we set out to find out a little more about three Startup Loan success stories which have all been delivered by Doug Richard’s School for Startups and why a mentoring programme alongside the startup loan itself can help.

Samuel and Rachel Selwyn are a brother and sister team who lead a business called Stump Doctor. Aged only 20 and 19 and with respective backgrounds in Arboriculture they identified a gap in the services currently provided in the sector which as a team they felt that they could fill. Having been previously sceptical about applying for financial support to start their business, the Startup Loan has acted as a catalyst for them to realise their business idea. Now, having been introduced to the Launcher programme they will be attending workshops and a bootcamp to help them develop the business further.

We also heard about Tom Raffe, Founder of Screenburn, a Video on Demand (VoD) Facebook platform that allows users to sell their video content (films, music, television, comedy and sport) from their official page. It monetizes an already existing audience and increases the distribution potential of independently produced films.

In an industry where contacts can be just as valuable as cash, it is interesting to note that Tom highlights the benefits that the scheme offers from both a financial perspective as well as from a networking point of view. Again, Tom turned to Startup Loans in order to seek financial support for Screenburn, after being turned down for traditional bank loans and finding it difficult to get that critical initial funding.
Tom had initially spoken to Doug Richard, Founder of School for Startup at a networking event and by keeping in touch via email was ready to apply for the loan when the scheme launched. Tom believes that all young entrepreneurs should take advantage of the networking and funding services available – “go to events and get chatting.”

What began as a chat with Doug Richard at a networking event, eventually led to Tom embarking on the launcher programme itself - a programme which Tom is extremely positive about in his feedback: - “School for Startups supports young people with a concept and something to prove.”

A big congratulations then to Samuel, Rachel, and Tom! We look forward to hearing more about their business successes over the coming years. For those of you that are considering applying for the Startup Loans Scheme, it would also be worth taking a look at the School for Startup Launcher programme, especially if you too could benefit from the great mentoring and support that it offers.

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Published on: 27th March 2013

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