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Your CU backs start-up businesses

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23 Jan 17

Your Credit Union is providing loans to support fledgling entrepreneurs in Kensington and Chelsea.

The pioneering new scheme is a partnership between Kensington-based Your Credit Union and Portobello Business Centre (PBC), and will administer £100,000 in loan guaranteed funds on behalf of the Royal Borough.

The scheme has been named the Big Cheese Loan, and Your Credit Union Chief Executive William Rhodes explained: “The ‘big cheeses’ of the future are looking for money to grow and need an injection of funds to turn their ideas into a reality. Starting up a business from scratch is not a simple process or an easy challenge to take on.

“Access to credit can be very challenging for small businesses despite being a viable credit risk. It can be notoriously difficult for small businesses to borrow the money they need to get their businesses off the ground.

“Sadly many fall at the first hurdle. It is a great frustration when good ideas cannot be developed – we all miss out. Even quite modest amounts can make the difference between someone taking the leap or never acting.”

The new partnership – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – will specifically support the self-employed and new micro-businesses with loans. Typically loans will be for a few thousand pounds but could go up to £10,000.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council is supporting the scheme to help the two organisations work together and offer finance to start-ups. In addition they will offer business and financial advice. The loan fund and support services will help residents to create 50 new businesses per year.

The scheme is intended to help residents who have not been able to raise start-up finance from traditional sources such as the banks, which can be difficult – particularly if a person is currently out of work. Newly trading, small and micro businesses will also be able to access loans to help them become more sustainable.

Portobello Business Centre CEO Allen Pluck said: “Small and micro-businesses are unique and face very different challenges to larger companies. They don’t always have the manpower resources or time, and need help to overcome the challenges they face.

“The new relationship with Your Credit Union will help remedy this with tangible assistance on the ground for the smallest businesses which will in turn provide new jobs and a more vibrant community for everyone.”

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