Ever had an innovative idea pop out of nowhere, resulting in you dreaming of your new entrepreneurial pathway?

Now, more than ever, we have become more creative within our work lives with some ditching the nine-to-five routine altogether. The age group which is embracing the be-your-own-boss lifestyle are the18- to 24-year-olds.

The majority of unemployed people turning entrepreneurs through start-up loans since 2012 are millennials.

As a result, a new start-up loans campaign is encouraging people thinking about their career options to start their own business and take the independent financial jump.

UK Small Business Minister Paul Scully encourages aspiring Welsh entrepreneurs to explore the support on offer from the UK Government.

He said: “The Start Up Loans programme has helped more than 3,800 pioneering Welsh businesses to get off the ground, including many owned by young or unemployed people.”

From radar and microphones to hydrogen batteries and ball bearings, Wales has a proud history of world-leading innovation and entrepreneurial spirit which the British Business Bank is supporting with funding from the UK Government.

The disruptive impact of coronavirus on the UK’s economy and traditional working patterns has catalysed many to reconsider their careers, whether because of additional time to reflect during lockdown, furlough, or a change in employment status.

The Start Up Loans scheme was initially set up as the UK economy was recovering from the 2008 credit crisis, with a mission to make business ownership a viable career for individuals who would struggle to raise finance.

Building on a nine-year track record of success, the scheme is set to play a vital role as our economy starts to rebuild after the impact of Covid-19, providing both funding and wider support for people starting up their own business for the first time.

Since 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered over 955 loans to unemployed people in Wales, worth over £5.4m. In the same period, 25 per cent of the people who received Government-backed funding here were unemployed.

Of the 80,000-plus Start Up Loans recipients across the UK since 2012, a third were unemployed at the time of application. Their data also indicates that the scheme is particularly effective in enabling young entrepreneurs to start up a business.


Aoife Doherty set up Floris in November 2020 after graduating from the University of Reading with a BA Hons in graphic design.

After noticing a gap in the market for eco-friendly stationery she decided to take out a Start Up Loan of £9,000 to help support the manufacturing of her products and design tools.

Aoife set up her sustainable stationery business based in Cardiff. “When I was studying in university it was difficult to find eco-friendly stationary that wasn’t boring or super simple in design,” she said.

“I have a flair for creativity and having studied graphic design, I realised that I could harness my skills and turn them into a business.

“So, with the help from my £9,000 Start Up Loan – and lots of time spent designing – Floris was born!

“Starting my business during the Covid-19 pandemic was without a doubt a challenge.

“In the initial phase of the business, I had a stall at a market, but because of the restrictions and lockdowns I had to think on my feet about how I could keep growing my business in other ways.

“So, I decided to host an ‘online market’ through my website, and it was a true success!

“Although things hadn’t gone to plan, it gave me a chance to re-focus my attention on developing my online presence – which completely worked in my favour.”

“When you are your own boss it’s so important to be open to all solutions and ideas. Particularly at the moment, staying open-minded to change and relying on your support network – whether that’s people in your personal life or fellow business owners – makes a world of difference!”

Enterprising talent will certainly make a key contribution to our national economic recovery over the coming years said, Katy Chamberlain, chief executive of Start Up Loans delivery partner, Business in Focus which is based in Bridgend.

She said they are look forward to continuing to work with businesses, such as Floris across Wales, their shared mission to inspire entrepreneurs around Wales and the UK