30,000 new businesses in the UK – and counting

The startup scene is growing like never before. Every day amazing new businesses are starting up, and we’re thrilled to be helping make it happen, with 600 businesses funded by us. However, we’re part of a bigger picture. We’re a delivery partner of the government-backed Start Up Loans Company, an organisation instrumental in giving some of the UK’s brightest and best startups the opportunity to start up. And loan number 30,000 has just been given to a business backed by Virgin StartUp – meaning that’s over 30,000 people following their dream, contributing to UK trade and economy, and much more.

This 30,000th loan has been issue to a married couple from Surrey – Anjali and Gavin Healy, founders of A&G Chocolatl. They create traditional hot chocolate using the whole cacao beans, the way that hot chocolate was originally made. With no additives or artificial flavours, it’s a return to the pure form of hot chocolate that’s been around since ancient times.

Co-owner of Choclatl, Anjali Healey says “We are so excited about the road ahead and the buzz around our product as we set out to quietly redefine the expectations of chocolate.

“Everyone needs a little support along the way, so thank goodness for the outstanding network, talent and resources at Virgin StartUp and to Start Up Loans for their phenomenal support to small businesses in the UK”.

Already supplying Mexican restaurant group Wahaca with drinking chocolate, the loan will allow them to upscale the operations to a factory – currently they produce up to a quarter tonne of their product in their home kitchen in a week – and to take them forward with their development. In the pipeline are plans to produce a ready-to-drink version of their hot chocolate for supermarkets, and expanding the range of flavours. They’ve already been shortlisted in Britain’s Next Top Supplier by Ocado, and have developed serious interest from several other national wholesalers and retailers across the UK, due to the unique nature of the product.

Prime Minister David Cameron celebrated the news, saying “Business owners across the country are already using these start-up loans to launch innovative new companies. As part of our long-term economic plan this One Nation government is committed to more than doubling the number of loans to 75,000.

“We've already seen 299 loans given to businesses in Surrey County local authority area, creating jobs and opportunities for families across the region.”

Here’s to funding even more businesses over the coming months and years, supporting skills, trades, industries – and helping new ones develop. If you’d like to learn more about making your own dream happen, register here to get started.  

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