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Start or grow your dream business

Borrow between £500 and £25,000 per co-founder with a Start Up Loan. Founder friendly funding with fixed interest rates and free business advice.

Scroll down to begin your application.

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Start Up Loans: Transparent prices

Founder-friendly | Flexible Funding | Fixed Interest Rate | No Early Repayment Fees

Loan Calculator

£250
1
1 years
Apply for a startup loan

Free to apply

£0.00
per month

Loan Amount
£250
Interest (6% APR)
£0
Total Amount Repayable
£0

Illustrative purposes only. Actual amounts may vary upon application.

The first and last word in start-up

Access to funding

Free 30 minute webinar on how to fund your startup

Find out more about your funding options and get the chance to ask a member of the Virgin StartUp team any questions. Free to attend.

Side by side. How a Start Up Loan compares

Loans

Virgin Start Up

Funding Circle

For-profit organisation

High Street Bank

Typical UK Bank

Last check: March 2024

Min and max

£500 - £25k per co-founder

£10k - £600k

£25k

Interest rate

6%

6.9%+

11.5%

Length of time

1 - 5 years

6 - 72 months

5 years

Additional fees

No

No

Yes

Payment holidays

Yes (up to 9 months)

Yes (up to 6 months)

No

Minimum trading required

No

2 years

No

Mentoring

X

X

Webinars and masterclasses

X

X

Business advisor

X

X

Founder networking

X

X

Promo, marketing & PR opportunities

X

X

A helping hand - expert free advice with your application

When you apply for a Start Up Loan with Virgin StartUp and pass our initial checks, you’re assigned a Business Advisor to help with your application, from putting together your business plan and cashflow forecasts, to ensuring you’ve got everything you need. Business Advisors are experienced startup founders themselves, and know exactly what’s needed when applying for a Start Up Loan, giving you the best chances of success with your application.

Virgin StartUp Free Business Advice

Start Up Loans: how to apply

Applying for a Start Up Loan is straightforward. Once you’ve submitted your initial application you’ll be matched with a free Business Advisor to help you with your business plan. You can also reach out to our support team if you have any questions.

Virgin StartUp has been appointed as a National Business Support Partner of the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans scheme and is part of a network of Business Support Partners across the UK.

  1. Start your application with Virgin StartUp Once you know you’re eligible, simply start the process by filling out the application form on our website below.

  2. Continue application with the British Business Bank When you fill in the form on this page, you'll be redirected to create an account with the British Business Bank and provide some initial information. A credit check will be run at this point.

  3. Apply online Continue your application on the British Business Bank website. You'll be asked to provide documents and further details as part of your application.

  4. Work with a dedicated Business Advisor You'll be assigned a Virgin StartUp Business Advisor who will work with you on your application and get it ready for submitting.

  5. Submit your application Once you have all the requirement documentation in place, you'll submit your application and wait for a response. You may have to provide extra details and documents to support your application.

  6. Get funded! If successful, you'll be notified and will be able to draw down your funds. The total time from start to this step is typically between 3 and 8 weeks.

Cemal Ezel Hero

“Getting a Start Up Loan was the best thing I ever did for my business”

Cemal Ezel, founder of Change Please

Start Up Loans Application Form






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NOTE: When you click the button above, you’ll be directed away from Virgin StartUp to the British Business Bank website to continue your application. Start Up Loans are administered by the British Business Bank.

Frequently asked questions


Yes, if you’re over 18 years old, have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the loan (typically 1 - 5 years). Your business will need to be based in the UK and have been trading for less than 3 years.

We help fund all sorts of businesses, from food and drinks brands, to hairdressers, tradespeople right through to fashion, tech and hardware businesses – and everything in between!

As the funding is an unsecured personal loan for business purposes (more on that below) we do look at personal affordability, credit worthiness and business viability of each application. Every application and business is different, so if we feel you won’t be suitable for the funding and to save you time, we’ll be straight up and let you know as soon as we discover it. You will be asked for some information to ensure your business type is eligible to apply when you start the application process.

So, most business types are eligible to apply. However, we are not able to support the following:

  • Weapons

  • Chemical manufacture

  • Pornography

  • Drugs

  • Illegal activities

  • Banking and money transfer services

  • Private investigators that do not hold the appropriate licence

  • Gambling and betting activities

  • Property investment or residential property purchase

  • Agents for third parties, where a third party earns the majority of the revenue or you would only be earning a commission (not to be confused with franchise businesses which are eligible under the scheme)

  • Structural property costs

  • FCA regulated

  • Non-UK based businesses

  • Businesses trading for over 3 years

  • Requests for funding to pay for debt repayments, investment opportunities, vocational training or qualifications

Please note, other exclusions may apply and Virgin StartUp reserves the right to update this list at its discretion.


You can borrow anything from £500 to £25,000 per founder (up to £100,000 per business), and pay it back within five years, at a fixed annual interest rate of 6%. There’s no early repayment fees or set up charges. The actual funding for your Start Up Loan comes in the form of an unsecured personal loan for business purposes, via the Government backed Start Up Loans Scheme, which is administered by the British Business Bank.

In case you don’t know what an unsecured loan is. It is also known as a personal loan and is issued and supported by your credit history rather than being guaranteed by any type of asset or guarantor. When you take out an unsecured loan the lender has no claim on your financial assets if you don’t keep up repayments. However, failure to meet the agreed repayments may result in formal action being taken, including but not limited to, an application to issue a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or your loan being passed to a Debt Collection Agency. In short, it would likely impact your individual credit file.


As you can imagine, every founder and business idea are unique in their own way, We get applications from founders at various stages of their start up journey, which is great! From idea stage right through to trading for close to 3 years. Our team will work at your pace. For example, many applications take 3-4 weeks, whereas some may take a lot longer, it just depends.

It is really important that we fund businesses and founders at the right stage with the right amount of funding. We’ll work with you to get you to that stage if you are eligible and be as clear as we can on timelines.

Keep in mind, it is reliant on your engagement with the process and how proactive you are throughout. We want to help fund businesses where we can, but also work with you so that you have a clear plan for the next 12 months, to make the most of the funding and post-funding support we provide. It’s not just about the funding, we try to provide lots of other support too, to help set you up to succeed.


Once you fill in the initial application form on this page and hit 'Start', you’ll be taken through to the Start Up Loans website, where you will be asked a few initial questions to set up your Start Up Loan account and check eligibility. At this point a credit check will be run.

Once you've set up your account with Start Up Loans and a credit check has been run, we’ll contact you within 2 working days to say hello, answer any questions you may have and confirm a couple of things to help us figure out the best next steps for you. If you’ve got a draft business plan, feel free to upload this so we can learn a little more about your business. Generally, you will be asked to provide a little more detail on your business in a business plan template we provide. Alongside the template we're here to help you fill it in.

It's likely that you'll then be matched with an experienced business advisor who will help you develop your business plan a little more, a cash flow forecast and ensure you put forward the best application possible for review by the Virgin StartUp Loan Panel, who review all applications for Start Up Loan funding.

Virgin StartUp are a Business Support Partner of the Start Up Loan Scheme, that is administered by the British Business Bank. Funding is not guaranteed and we will let you know as soon as we feel it may not be suitable for you or your business, which may be due to personal affordability, credit worthiness, business viability or eligibility concerns. A Start Up Loan is an unsecured personal loan for business purposes.


A mentor is an individual with business experience who will provide support and guidance to help make your business a success. Take a look at our mentoring pages to find out more.

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