Latest research by the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans (SUL) programme reveal they have lent a staggering £500 million to over 60,000 start-up businesses across the UK, which totals almost 64,000 loans – an enormous result for economic growth nationwide.


Alexandra McCabe, Fittamamma

Kelly Tolhurst MP, Small Business Minister, said: “Reaching this important milestone reflects the success of UK government-backed start-up loans in supporting entrepreneurs across the South East helping them form new businesses that grow local economies and are at the heart of our communities.”

The programme offers government-backed loans available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. Since its launch, over 63,000 business ideas have been supported across the UK with more than £500m delivered to help make them happen.

Significantly, The South East region has been hailed as a major start-up hub after it was revealed that the SUL scheme has lent more than £45 million to microbusinesses in the region. The latest data shows that the scheme has issued more than 5,543 loans to aspiring business owners in the South East to kickstart new businesses.

Let’s Do Business Finance, Start Up Loans Team

The Let’s Do Business Finance SUL team has delivered more than £15m of that figure across Sussex, Kent and Surrey to start-ups and growing businesses. Among those to have benefitted from the scheme is Alexandra McCabe, an inspiring female entrepreneur with the desire to help expecting mums look and feel good. In 2013, Alexandra launched her own maternity fitness e-commerce business in Brighton, following financial support from a Start-Up Loan.

The inspiration came from a struggle to find maternity fitness for a pregnant family member who wanted to stay fit but was confused about contradictory advise about exercising while pregnant. She had also found that a lot of conventional sportswear would make her feel self-conscious. At the time, it was hard to find one resource for women who want to exercise while pregnant – now The Fittamamma website is on-hand offering a one-stop-shop for ladies to get active and healthy, featuring a clothing range, pregnancy, diet and exercise tips, and more.

The sportwear’s collection designed by Alexandra is tailored to empower women to take the plunge and explore the many health benefits of fitness, for their own well-being as much as their little one. Since its launch, the business is going from strength-to-strength, having established a client-base world-wide.

Four years after receiving funding from the SUL scheme, FittaMamma has experienced 10% year-on-year growth and the specialist sportswear has been crucial in pregnancy exercise worldwide.

Sean Dennis, Let’s Do Business Finance said:

“It is hugely rewarding as the lead delivery partner of the scheme, to see exciting new businesses like Fittamamma achieve their business goals and help other people at the same time – in this instance, Alexandra has been able to help women feel more empowered, and that’s something to be proud of.”

“These personal loans are a lifeline for small businesses and provide the right support at the right time – the scheme has been successful in helping thousands take the plunge and launch their own business. The scheme has not only made a valuable contribution to business growth, but it has delivered an economic return of £53 million, helping to create and safeguard a minimum of 3700 jobs – a great result for the growth of the local economy.”

In celebration of this major milestone, Start Up Loans launched an ‘interactive heat map’ of the UK showing the regional and constituency breakdown of the £500m. The map highlights the social impact of Start Up Loans through the number of loans received by women, by those from BAME communities and those who were unemployed when they applied for a loan. Take a look here and discover it for yourself.