A very special milestone has been reached: we’ve hit our 3,000th funded business. From handing out a loan to chocolate business in December 2013, to hitting our latest milestone with Planty, it means we’ve issued more than £40 million in funding to UK entrepreneurs as an official Delivery Partner of the Government-backed Start Up Loans Company.
We’ve worked across the country, too. Just 29% of the Start Up Loans issued by Virgin StartUp have gone to businesses based in London and 17% of funds have been issued to the South East. The North East’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, with 14% of funding going there, while the North West sits just behind on 11%.
Further analysis of our figures so far show that the food and beverage sector is the industry to have received the most funding with 17%, closely followed by the retail sector on 14% and the telecommunications sector on 8%.
Starting up is only part of the challenge. We want to help people run viable, sustainable businesses. Any entrepreneur receiving a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp gets more than simply the funds they apply for. They have invaluable access to business advice, one-to-one mentoring, workshops and peer-to-peer support.
What’s more: we have proof that it works. The majority of loan recipients (73%) have businesses that are currently trading, with 75% of those working full-time in their new venture. Just over a quarter (26%) of the businesses funded by Virgin StartUp have seen an annual turnover of more than £100,000, with 4% seeing turnover of over half a million pounds a year.
And with the average start-up employing three additional workers, it is estimated more than 8,000 further jobs have been created through our work.
But you don’t have to need business funding to secure support from Virgin StartUp. Since our inception in 2012, we’ve provided varying levels of support to over 14,000 people. From calls with our Business Advisors, to thousands of hours of mentorship, we’re committed to helping businesses start, scale and succeed. We’ve supported 360+ through our popular accelerator programme, StepUp, and have seen almost 5,000 people through the doors of our events and Masterclasses.
Virgin StartUp’s commitment to helping transform businesses across the country was inspired by Sir Richard Branson. Virgin’s founder is excited to see the promising stats and figures generated by Virgin StartUp’s commitment to helping entrepreneurs hit more milestones in time to come.
He said, “I’m thrilled that Virgin StartUp has funded its 3,000th founder after just five short years. We launched Virgin StartUp to help entrepreneurs up and down the UK create brilliant businesses, and I know that their committed team will go on to support and inspire founders for many years to come.”
Andy Fishburn, newly appointed Managing Director of Virgin StartUp, echoes the positive contributions to entrepreneurship the company has been constantly striving to build on.
He said, “Whilst reaching this milestone is a fantastic achievement - and one we’re really proud of - it’s the founders and businesses that sit behind these numbers that are the real success story! Founders that wake up each day to run businesses that might not exist were it not for the business advice, funding and mentoring that they’d received from Virgin StartUp.”
One message is clear from Andy: “Here’s to the next 3,000!”
UK breakdown of where funded businesses are based:
South East 17%
North East 14%
North West 11%
South West 8%
West Midlands 7%
East Midlands 4%