We know that many of the thousands of people in our community – whether you’re already running a business or are in the process of starting up - are worried about what Coronavirus might mean for you and your business.

At Virgin StartUp, we’re committed to supporting founders during this difficult time, whilst also making the health and wellbeing of our community and the Virgin StartUp team a top priority.

That’s why I wanted to update you on how Virgin StartUp will continue to support you - our founders and future founders - through this challenging time. As the situation in the UK changes, we will continue to look at what we can do to support you.

We will update our community on our social media channels and newsletters, as well as on this post.

Please follow us to stay in touch.

Start Up Loans

The Start Up Loans programme will not be affected or interrupted at this time. You can still apply for a Start Up Loan and we will continue to provide business advice and a full programme of post-funding support to our Funded Club.

Both business advice and post-funding support will be provided on a remote basis using a combination of phone calls, video calls, emails and webinars.

Start Up Loan repayments

We understand that it is a difficult and uncertain time for many small business owners at present, and the current situation may be presenting a range of challenges for you and your business.

StreetUK and GCBF are the official finance partners of the Start Up Loans Company and manage all of the repayment arrangements on a Start Up Loan. In light of current events in relation to Covid-19, special provisions have been put in place to support Start Up Loan recipients who may be struggling to maintain their regular loan repayments.

Loans approved/drawn down before 28th March 2020

In order to explore what options are available, we recommend that you email StreetUK on credit.control@street-uk.com and they will respond within 2 working days – or sooner if at all possible.

Loans approved/drawn down on or after the 28th March 2020 

In order to explore what options are available, we recommend that you email GCBF on bfsul@growthco.uk and they will respond within 24 hours.

If your business has been impacted by Covid and you have frozen your Start Up Loan repayments, you will be contacted via email by your Finance Partner 3 weeks before this payment freeze is due to end in order to discuss your new loan repayments.  

If you need to extend your repayment freeze, please contact your Finance Partner to arrange an extension. 

If there’s anything else that Virgin StartUp can do to support, please get in touch at hello@virginstartup.org and one of the team will get back to you.

Mentoring

Mentoring support can be hugely valuable – particularly when thinking through difficult business decisions.

For anyone currently receiving 1-to-1 mentoring support, all in-person meetings will now take place by phone or online.

We recommend Whereby, Zoom or Skype for video calls, although there are many other tools available.

Live events

As we stated this week, all physical MeetUps and Masterclasses are postponed until further notice.

All ticketholders will be offered a full refund for any upcoming events.

Digital masterclass delivery

We are exploring ways to take our Masterclasses online and will update on this soon. We have a number of webinars scheduled which will take place as normal.

CrowdBoost

We’re continuing to explore ways to support start-ups that are looking to raise investment and secure follow on funding. This includes how we deliver our investment readiness programme - CrowdBoost - remotely for the foreseeable future. If you have applied for any of the upcoming programmes (20th April - 18th May or 8th June - 6th July) we will be in contact shortly with further details on what to expect moving forward. In the meantime, applications remain open for CrowdBoost at virginstartup.org/crowdboost.

We understand that this is a challenging time for our founders and we remain committed to supporting you through this difficult period.

Please get in touch with us via social media or at hello@virginstartup.org with any questions at this time.

Andy Fishburn