Shadow business secretary says StartUp Loans not enough

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 more employees."

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"The Business Link website is no longer being updated, the government's mentoring scheme has fallen far short of the numbers initially promised and the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have not been given the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.

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