East Midlands is a top start-up hub for female business owners

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The East Midlands is the most popular region outside of London for women setting up their own businesses with funds from the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme, according to data released today.

Women account for almost 40% of the Start Up Loans funding allocated to aspiring business owners in the East Midlands since 2012, according to data from the Government-backed Start Up loans programme.

Of the 3,645 loans awarded under the scheme in the region, totalling £26m, 39.9% went to women, equivalent to 1,455 loans. Only in London was the figure higher, with 42% of Start Up Loans going to female recipients, the data shows.

In total, the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme has awarded 64,953 loans to date, totalling £510million across the UK since 2012, with 25,701 going to women looking to start their own business.

After London and the East Midlands, the South West emerged as the region where women received the highest proportion of loans, with 39.8% of its 2,132 loans going to women. The East of England came next, with 39.6% of its loans going to women.

Of those who received a loan in the East Midlands, just under a fifth (17.5%) came from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, and just over two fifths (42.2%) were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start Up Loans, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we have helped so many women in the East Midlands, and indeed across the UK, to set up their own businesses. Businesses like MommaMakes demonstrate what can happen when you follow your passion and persevere, despite the ups and downs.

“Small businesses are absolutely vital to local economies, helping to create jobs and generate income, and we would encourage anyone who thinks they have an idea for a business to come to us and speak to one of our many advisors. We’re committed to helping small businesses prosper and grow and we look forward to supporting many more in the future.”