Support for enterprising over 50s

A growing number of over 50s are accessing Start Up Loans to build their businesses.


Eduardo Barreto is a theatre director and playwright among other talents. His company, Boy Next Door Productions, will soon be launching a run of shows at the Arcola Theatre in South London.

In April, he directs a production of Tennessee Williams’s The Rose Tattoo at the theatre. Williams called the play his ‘love-play to the world’. It looks at hope and love in a Sicilian-American community on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana.

Eduardo set up Boy Next Door Productions four years ago, but it had a slow start due to a health incident.  Through a £10,000 Start Up Loan and mentoring advice from the Start Up Loan Company he was able to get back to what he loves doing the most – producing successful shows. In doing so he joins the growing number of over 50s entrepreneurs.

He says: “It wasn’t only the loan that was important to me – Start Up Loans introduced me to Giuseppe, my business mentor and my rock. I wouldn’t have succeeded in my application without him, so I am eternally grateful.”

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, announced this week that it has delivered more than £140m worth of loans to entrepreneurs aged 50+ since its inception in 2012. The programme has supported 13,422 such loans, at an average of £10,427.

Almost half the funding (£64m) has been delivered since the first Covid-19 lockdown. A total of 4,664 loans have been issued since April 2020 equating to £63,928,454 in value. In this period, the average loan value per business is £13,707 – an increase of more than £2,600 compared to the four-year period before Covid-19.

The company, which enables people to borrow up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum and repay the loan over one to five years and provides 12 months of free business mentoringm says it has delivered more than £13m worth of loans to the over 50s in the financial year to March 2024.

“This represents a significant contribution to the national efforts to encourage people aged 50+ back into work through a variety of initiatives designed to help stimulate economic growth,” it states.

Much of the financing to help start-up businesses went to businesses outside of London, with 85% of the value of the loans deployed outside the capital. Nearly three quarters (72%) went to businesses outside of London and the South East.

The North West was the region to receive the most finance outside of London and the South East, accounting for £16m of funding.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Small Business Lending, British Business Bank said: “As Eduardo demonstrates, you can further your business ambitions at any age. It’s why we encourage anyone with a good business idea to get in touch and learn more about how the Start Up Loans programme might be able to help turn it into reality. It is interesting to note the high proportion of the funding during and after the pandemic, suggesting that many people aged 50+ re-evaluated and took action to pursue their business ambitions.”

Eduardo says: “To anyone else of a similar age thinking about starting their own business, my advice would be to find something you are passionate about and go for it. Keep your left foot in dream world and your right foot in the real world and you’ll find the balance needed to succeed.”

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises