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Barclays has made additional funding of up to £60 million available for start-ups in England over the next three years. According to the bank, this new funding is expected to support the creation of 4,200 new businesses, providing them with growth finance.

The funding from Barclays will support a new partnership between the bank, a consortium of enterprise agencies, and the National Enterprise Network (NEN), which has secured an additional £15 million from the Regional Growth Fund to support business growth on top of the £60 million already being provided by Barclays.

Alongside the new start-up fund, the partnership between Barclays, NEN and the consortium will also deliver a programme of enterprise seminars in areas across the UK identified as having been particularly affected by the recession. It will provide the services and support to help aspiring entrepreneurs take their first steps in business. The £60 million of new funding provided by Barclays is earmarked specifically for entrepreneurs who successfully complete the programme of training and have a viable business plan in place, which has been endorsed by a dedicated business mentor.

It is estimated that this funding will enable Barclays to make up to 4,200 additional offers of finance to support the growth plans of new businesses, while the initiative as a whole will create 6,000 new businesses and 4,000 new jobs over a three year period. It is also expected that over 24,000 people will have the opportunity to attend the ‘Barclays Get Ready for Business’ seminars.

Steve Cooper, Vice Chairman Business Banking, Barclays, said: “This is even more true when we are talking about businesses being set up in areas disproportionately hit by the recession. Start-ups in these areas often have it tough and they can struggle with low turnover and lack of core business skills, but they are also positioned where they can do the most good for employment and improving the local economy.

“With this funding we’re looking to help new businesses that are hungry for success. They will go through a scheme that helps get them primed for growth, and then we will help the successful businesses with the finance that will help drive that growth, and then we will help the successful businesses with the finance that will help drive that growth. We fully back the goals of the Regional Growth Fund, and we are keen to build on that programme to really help business.”

Mark Prisk, Business and Enterprise Minster, added: “We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, so it is encouraging to see Barclays committing a significant amount of investment to support entrepreneurs. We are seeing record numbers of people looking to start their own business and they need to be able to access a range of support from the public and private sector.

“This loan fund, alongside the £15 million Regional Growth Fund investment in the Ready for Business programme will help entrepreneurs as it will also provide them with access to business mentors. Getting advice from someone who has been there and done it before is vital to give entrepreneurs the targeted support they need to thrive and grow.”


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