28 May 2012 by Mike
Shadow business secretary Chukka Umunna has criticised
Daivd Cameron's £82m StartUp Loan plan. The scheme is expected to
generate over 30,000 new enterprises by giving young entrepreneurs
affordable loans, but Umunna says more needs to be
Labour MP Umunna welcomed the initiative, but he believes the
coalition government has actually made it harder than ever for an
entrepreneur to launch a new business.
"The UK economy has shrunk by 0.4%, we've been tipped into a
double dip recession and the UK has slipped from fourth to seventh
in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings," he says.
"Small businesses run by people of all ages are currently facing
huge problems in getting the finance they need to grow and take on
The StartUp Loan scheme gives entrepreneurs aged 18-24 the
opportunity to apply for a loan of around £2,500 and receive advice
from experts. Umunna calls small businesses the "lifeblood of the
economy" and says more needs to be done for any real
difference to be made.
"More than half of firms applying for an overdraft for the first
time last year were rejected. The government has made life more
difficult for start-ups by dismantling the Regional Development
Agencies and other business support, which existed under Labour
without a proper replacement or transition plan," says Umunna.
"The Business Link website is no longer being updated, the
government's mentoring scheme has fallen far short of the numbers
initially promised and the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
have not been given the resources to meet their full potential,
limiting the amount of support which is available for those wanting
to start their own business."
For more information on the StartUp Loan scheme, click here.