Start Up Loans

Launch or grow your business with a Start Up Loan.

Borrow from £500 to £25,000.

What is a Start Up Loan?

A Start Up Loan is a personal loan for founders looking to start or grow their businesses:

  • Borrow from £500 to £25,000 per co-founder
  • Average Start Up Loan amount is £7,200.
  • Borrow over 1-5 years at a fixed interest rate of 6% p.a.
  • No set-up fee or early repayment penalties
  • No minimum trading requirement

Every funded founder receives twelve months of exclusive support as part of The Funded Club. Including:

  • Expert guidance to help you start and scale your business
  • A dedicated business advice helpline
  • Regular opportunities to meet with specialist mentors
  • An experienced mentor who'll work with your business for six months
Change Please Coffee Got a Start up Loan from Virgin Start Up

Getting a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp was the best decision I have ever made.

Cemal Ezel, founder of Change Please

Why get a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp?

If you've been trading for under 3 years, you can benefit from a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp.


  • Access to tools and resources to help you start and grow your business
  • 6 months' mentoring
  • Founders receive 12 months of exclusive support as part of The Funded Club
  • Exclusive offers and opportunities from across the Virgin Group, including:
    • Discounted access to our growing number of Events and Masterclasses
    • A growing community of founders
    • Access to exclusive offers from partners and supporters
    • Promotional, marketing and PR opportunities at Virgin StartUp, including being featured in content on our website and presenting at our events.

I don't know if we'd be here without the mentor and support from Virgin StartUp!

Gini and Eccie Newton, founders of Karma Kans

Start Up Loans Application Form

  • check_circleA Start Up Loan is a personal loan for business purposes. You borrow over 1–5 years at a fixed rate of 6% per annum;
  • check_circleBorrow between £500 and £25,000 per co-founder;
  • check_circleThere is no fee or costs involved in applying;
  • check_circlePlease note that that a credit check will be carried out as part of your application;
  • check_circleYour business has been trading for less than 36 months.

Start your application


  • A Start Up Loan is an unsecured personal loan for business purposes.
  • You will remain solely responsible for paying back the loan, even if the business doesn’t go according to plan.
  • If you don’t keep up with your payments, the Start Up Loans’ Finance Partner will get in touch to address the issue and come up with a solution. 
  • If a payment is missed or the loan isn’t repaid in full, then the Finance Partner will let credit reference agencies know, this might have an impact on your your credit rating.  To find out more about credit reference agencies and credit ratings please click here
  • Start Up Loans is administered by the British Business Bank.  It is a government backed scheme.  Virgin StartUp is a national Delivery Partner of the Start Up Loans scheme.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I speak to someone about applying for a Start Up Loan?


Yes, please call our Founder Support Team on 020 7313 2002

Phone lines are open Monday - Friday 9:30am - 2:00pm

Am I eligible?


To apply for a Start Up Loan with Virgin StartUp, you must be at least 18 years old, hold an EU passport (or have a valid UK visa) and your business must be less than two years old.

How much can I borrow and what are the terms?


You can borrow anything from £500 to £25,000, repayable over five years, at a fixed annual interest rate of 6%, with no early repayment penalties. Average loan size: £7,500.

How long will it take to receive my loan?


There is no specific timeframe from registering to being approved for a Loan. Every founder and business idea is different and at varying degrees of progression when they apply to us. Some take 3 weeks to process, some take almost a year! It is really important that we fund businesses at the right stage when they are ready for funding and we’ll work with you to get you to that stage, however your engagement with the process and how proactive you are throughout, will play a critical part in the length of time it takes.

What happens after I register?


We'll call you within 2 working days of completing the application form (hosted on the Start Up Loans website) and will ask you a few questions - this will help us decide the best next steps for you. If you're able to upload a draft business plan, it's likely that you'll then be matched with a business advisor, who will help you put together your Loan application.

I'm an international student living in the UK. Can I apply?


Yes, international students living and studying in the UK can apply, but your visa must permit you to work in the UK, and your business plan must clearly show that you’ll be able to repay your Loan during the length of your stay.

Can I use the Loan to buy a franchise?


Yes - subject to our normal lending conditions. Check out for more information on franchising.

What is a mentor?


A mentor is an individual with business experience who will provide support and guidance to help make your business a success. 

What additional support do you provide?


Virgin StartUp isn’t just about Loans. We’re built by founders, for founders: we offer you our wisdom, knowledge and expertise to better the prospects of your startup. With every Loan comes 12 months of post-funding support and access to exclusive offers and opportunities from the Virgin Group. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect to receive:

  • Business Advice - every eligible Loan applicant is partnered with a business adviser who will help you complete a full business plan and set of financial projections
  • Start Up Loans range from £500 - £25,000 per co-founder, with a fixed interest rate of 6%. Repayment terms can be up to five years and there are no early repayment penalties. Average Loan size £10,000
  • Every Loan comes with exclusive offers and opportunities throughout the Virgin Group and beyond
  • Every funded founder receives twelve months of exclusive support as part of The Funded Club. Including:
    - Expert guidance to help you start and scale your business.
    - A dedicated business advice helpline.
    - Regular opportunities to meet with specialist mentors and like-minded founders. 
    - An experienced mentor who'll work with you for six months.

Do I lose my Jobseeker's Allowance if I take out a Start Up Loan?


Yes, you will likely lose your Job Seeker's Allowance if you receive a Start Up Loan. For more information, click here.

What impact will Covid-19 have on my Start Up Loan application?


The Start Up Loans programme has not been affected or interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 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 are provided on a remote basis using a combination of phone calls, video calls, emails and webinars.

Full guidance on how the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting Start Up Loans can be found here:

My application for a Start Up Loan has been declined, can I appeal?


Every application for a Start Up Loan is reviewed on an individual basis.  Should your application for a Start Up Loan be declined and you feel the wrong decision has been made, you are able to appeal the lending decision within 30 days of receiving the decline outcome notification. You can lodge your appeal directly with the Virgin StartUp Team by emailing

By emailing the team you will initiate the appeals process, a member of the team will acknowledge receipt of your appeal and will be on hand to support you through the process.  When you get in touch with us, we recommend you outline why you would like to appeal the lending decision and include any additional supporting evidence as to why you feel the decision should be overturned.

A second independent review by the Virgin StartUp team will be carried out, taking into consideration the original application and any new information you provide.  You will be informed of the outcome of your appeal via email.

Please note, if your appeal is unsuccessful you can reapply for a Start Up Loan 6 months after the initial lending decision.   This will give you time to work on your idea further by perhaps improving the viability of your business or addressing any affordability concerns that were raised.