Since 2014, 2,566 loans went to women in the East of England

Since 2014, 2,566 loans went to women in the East of England

Only one in five businesses in the UK is run by a woman. Access and awareness of funding, as well as family responsibilities, are often listed as top reasons that prevent women from making the decision to work towards becoming successful business owners.

Since 2012, the government backed Start Up Loans programme has delivered 36,446 loans and provided over £306m of funding to women-led businesses. This accounts for around 40% of the programme’s total delivery, around double the level of women business ownership in the UK.

Of these, 2,566 loans worth over £21m went to women in the East of England. One of the recipients of these loans is Eleanor Howie, Founder of Valiant Lingerie in King’s Lynn, an empowering lingerie brand for women who’ve had breast cancer or mastectomies.

She shares the challenges she faced on her entrepreneurship journey and offers tips to women who might be considering starting a business of their own.

Eleanor Howie, Founder of Valiant Lingerie, said: “Deciding to start your own business is exciting, exhilarating, and daunting! My advice would be to take time to create your business plan. Do your research to understand your competitors and the market you’ll be going into. I would also recommend anyone starting out to look into finding a support network or mentor. It really can be game changing.”

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start-Up Loans, said: “I am very proud that Start Up Loans has provided more than £300m of funding to women entrepreneurs around the UK. No matter your gender, one of the keys to starting a business is having the encouragement and support to do so. As we approach International Women’s Day, it’s always fantastic to see our women business owners speaking up to inspire others to navigate the challenges and ultimately reap the benefits of being their own boss.”

If you are in need of a start up loan visit the website to find out more 

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