The government’s Start Up Loan scheme has reached £130 million in funds lent to new companies.
The scheme provides financial support and mentoring to entrepreneurs looking to set up their own business.
According to the Start Up Loan Company, more than 32,000 new jobs have been generated as a result of the scheme since it was launched in 2012.
Nicola Weeks from Bedford has been awarded the 25,000th loan and is the latest female entrepreneur to start a business through the government initiative.
Prime Minister David Cameron says that supporting small businesses in getting off the ground is a key part of the government's long-term economic plan.
'That’s what our Start Up Loans are all about – it’s great news that 25,000 loans have now been issued, giving people who want to work hard and get on the tools and confidence to turn their entrepreneurial vision into a reality,' he adds.
Business Secretary Vince Cable says, 'Helping businesses to access the funds they need to grow is key to our recovery and through schemes like Start Up Loans the government is supporting serious volumes of lending to small and medium-sized businesses.'
James Caan, chairman of the Start Up Loans Company adds, 'The creation of 25,000 new businesses is a significant achievement and everyone involved – the government, the Start Up Loans Company, and the loan recipients themselves, should be immensely proud.'
After a career in acting, Weeks applied for a loan of £8,500 to finance her wedding business, George James Bridal.
She says, 'I received my Start Up Loan through Foundation East and found the process very efficient and straightforward. The help I received from my mentor was absolutely brilliant. I’m so delighted to achieve my dream of running my own boutique and I’m honoured to be the 25,000th new business started by the scheme.'
For more information on how to apply please visit the Start Up Loans government page here.