PROFESSIOANL NEWS: Virgin launches start-up loans for young entrepreneurs

Sir Richard Branson has launched Virgin StartUp, a project that will help facilitate start-up loans for entrepreneurs aged between 18 to 30 launching new businesses.

Virgin will join more than 50 other delivery partners which help facilitate loans from the government-backed Start-Up Loans Company and deliver mentoring and business advice to young entrepreneurs. 

Despite its international status this is only the second time Virgin has ventured into the B2B arena. The only other B2B strand being Virgin Media Business.

The new scheme builds on a pilot by Virgin Money in the North East, which has lent more than £600,000 to over 100 businesses since October 2012. 

Sir Richard Branson said: "I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. 

"Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it - with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come."

Meanwhile, Doug Richard, founder, School for Startups commented on the news: “It's great that Virgin are helping to support the next generation of Richard Bransons, a man who has done more to transform the image of entrepreneurship in the UK than anyone else. But it's critical that they provide more than mentoring and freebies. All the evidence shows that they need training and support. At the end of the day being associated with the Virgin brand will just be for a few lucky case studies.”

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