Start Up Loans is a government funded initiative that provides start up support in the form of a repayable loan together with a business mentor for entrepreneurs across England and Northern Ireland.

Lord Young, Godfather of the scheme, identified that if entrepreneurialism was as entrenched into the British mentality as it is in the United States, we would potentially have 900,000 more jobs across our country. With high unemployment, and the job market in a tough position, self-employment is being seriously considered as a viable career path.

With this logic in mind, The Start Up Loans programme was created within The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is headed up by The Secretary of State Vince Cable. It was designed to go some way to help solve the problem of supporting people who have a feasible business idea but no access to finance. With a view to providing a robust SME sector of tomorrow, The Start Up Loans programme aims to equip enterprising individuals with the tools needed to make their businesses a success.

In May 2012, Lord Young approached James Caan to take on the role of Chairman of The Start Up Loans Company.