Yorkshire is the fourth largest hub for start-up businesses in UK, says British Business Bank

Razan Al-Sous, the founder of Yorkshire Dama Cheese Picture: Porl Medlock
Razan Al-Sous, the founder of Yorkshire Dama Cheese Picture: Porl Medlock
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YORKSHIRE is the fourth largest hub for start-up businesses in the UK, according to a new study.

The research from the British Business Bank highlights the wide variety of fast growing businesses that have decided to establish a base in the region.

The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme has lent £500 million to UK small businesses since it was set up in 2012, with more than £44m going to firms in Yorkshire and The Humber, according to official figures.

Of the 63,920 loans issued to fund small business across the UK, 5,377 went to aspiring business owners in Yorkshire and The Humber, with the average loan amounting to £8,235.

Of those who received a loan, almost four in 10 (38.4%) were women, almost one in 10 (9.9%) came from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME), and almost three in 10 (30.1%) were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.

The Start Up Loans programme, which is part of the British Business Bank, has lent money and provided mentoring support to aspiring business owners in every part of the country and its impact has been particularly noticeable in areas of deprivation.

A Start Up Loans Heatmap shows that the North West was given the highest number of loans outside of London, receiving 7,841 loans worth £60 million.

The South East follows with 5,680 loans worth £48 million followed by Yorkshire and The Humber with 5,377 loans worth £44 million. There were 3,879 loans in Scotland worth £29 million and 2,904 loans in Wales worth £26 million.

Yorkshire business owners supported by Start Up Loans have used the funding to set up businesses in a wide range of sectors.

They include Razan Al-Sous, the founder of Yorkshire Dama Cheese, who set up her business making halloumi cheese after fleeing war-torn Syria with her husband and three children and struggling to find work, despite having a degree in pharmacology.

Yorkshire Dama Cheese now has a turnover of £189,000, with products sold at Morrisons as well as online. It has also won a number of awards, including the World Cheese Award Gold Prize 2016.

Razan Al-Sous, the founder of Yorkshire Dama Cheese, said: “My business is going from strength to strength and I’m thrilled that my traditional halloumi made with local ingredients is being enjoyed by people up and down the country.

“Starting a business requires passion and determination. There are many highs but also many lows. Start Up Loans supported us every step of the way and we really wouldn’t be where we are today without their help and expertise.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer of the British Business Bank, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we have supported so many fantastic small business owners from up and down the country.

“The hard work and determination of the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses make a huge contribution to society, and it’s great to see latest research showing that the economic benefits of the Start Up Loans programme are nearly six times its economic costs.

He added: “We’re committed to helping small businesses prosper and grow and we look forward to supporting many more in the future.”