Floris, in Cardiff, Wales, a green stationery brand]is one of 12 small businesses selected as UK Start-Up Champions by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank.

Startup Loan Ambassador for Wales, Aoife Doherty started her business in August 2020 after graduating with a BA Hons in Graphic Design from the University of Reading. She used the funding to help support the manufacturing of her products and design tools.

The annual Start Up Loans Ambassadors program, now in its sixth consecutive year, celebrates outstanding business owners who pursued the ambition to become their own boss after receiving support from the government-backed Start Up Loans program. Floris is just one of 4,059 Wales-based companies that have received a loan since 2012, with a total value of over £ 39million.

Through a network of delivery partner organizations, the Starter Loan Program provides pre and post loan support to help applicants develop a business plan, a fixed interest loan of up to £ 25,000 to start or grow their business; and mentorship and other supports to help loan recipients with everything from cash flow to marketing.

Coming from communities across the UK, 2021 Seed Loan Ambassadors reflect the great diversity and ambition of the country’s small business sector at the local level. A full summary of the selected companies in the Decentralized and English Nations regions is available below.

The 2021/22 Startup Loan Ambassadors will be honored at a virtual event hosted today by Start Up Loans and attended by Paul Scully, Minister of Small Business; Lord Smith, Chairman of the British Business Bank, Catherine Lewis Le Torre, CEO of the British Business Bank; Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans and delivery partners from each of the 12 UK regions and nations. They will also receive an opening speech from British entrepreneur Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black’s Chocolate.

Since 2012, the program has provided more than 88,000 loans to business owners across the UK, amounting to more than £ 790million. Of those who received a loan, 35,156 (40%) were women; over 17,700 (20%) were members of Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities (excluding white minorities); and over 4,500 (35% of 18-24 year olds) were previously unemployed.

Paul Scully, Minister of Small Business, said:

“Start-up loans are an essential pillar of our efforts to improve all regions of the country and provide opportunities for dynamic and hard-working people, regardless of their background.

“From canned wine to woodwork, bridal wear to camel milk, this year’s Starter Loan Ambassadors reflect the incredible diversity and creativity of entrepreneurship across the UK and will spearhead of our mission to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business. “

Richard Bearman, CEO of Start Up Loans, said:

“The small business community has been through a turbulent and difficult year, which makes it all the more important that we celebrate and stand up for the industry.

“The breadth and diversity of this year’s Seed Loan Ambassadors demonstrates that with the right support and mentorship, aspiring business owners from all walks of life can thrive under the most difficult circumstances.

“I would like to congratulate our 2021 Ambassadors for the tenacity and determination they have shown over the past year, which has resulted in some extremely impressive achievements. I look forward to working with them and sharing their stories to inspire others in their communities.

Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black’s, said:

“When you start a business, it really helps to have ‘champions’ – in the form of mentors and skills support – who can not only help you keep your passion alive, but bring their wisdom and financial knowledge. to help you propel your business. cheeky. It’s so great to see the British Business Bank formalize this in a positive way, through the team of 2021/2022 Ambassadors who can learn from their success to empower and inspire the next round of great UK start-ups.