The British Business Bank has provided more than £45m of debt funding to start-up firms in Wales.
Since launching its Start Up Loans funding programme back in 2012, the economic regeneration bank of the UK Government has provided 4,500 loans in Wales.
For the UK as a whole, loans of £960m have been made, with the value of loans in Wales representing around 4.7%.
The number of loans across the UK has reached 100,000. Start Up Loans are up to £25,000 per recipient at an interest rate of 6%.
Of all local authorities in Wales, Swansea has received the highest value of loans (over £5.8m), followed by Cardiff (over £5.4m) and Newport (over £2.9m).
As well as receiving the highest value of loans, Swansea received the most loans of any local authority, with 572 individual loans received to date.
Elsewhere in the country, Carmarthenshire tops the loan value table for west Wales (£2.8m) and Wrexham received the highest loan value across north Wales (£1.6m).
Of the loans distributed, 37% have gone to female business owners and more than 7% to business owners from black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds.
The average loan amount has been the highest in the Vale of Glamorgan at more than £11,500.
Louise McCoy, commercial managing director at the British Business Bank, said: “Start Up Loans is proud to have provided £45m worth of funding to business owners across Wales since 2012. Welsh entrepreneurialism has seen us support some wonderful businesses
“We hope that entrepreneurs across Wales are inspired by the stories of successful businesses that have launched across the nation, thanks to the funding available via the programme. We’re excited to see what the next generation of Welsh founders brings.”
A recipient of funding is Bridgend-based start-up gin distillery Porthcawl Gin.
Chris Leyshon and Glenn Loosemore, both 31, received two Start Up Loans to a combined value of £25,000 earlier this year to establish the business.
The pair, who have been friends since childhood, started the venture together with the aim of part-donating funds to a local charity, Sandville Self Help Foundation, which supports people with life-limiting and life-changing conditions.
Distilling their first hand-crafted batch of gin, they have just completed their first batch of orders for 100 bottles.
Mr Leyshon said: “Our Start Up Loan has provided us with the opportunity of getting the distillery fully operational as well as knowing we have a comfortable financial buffer to help us through the early stages of the business, which is always the highest-risk time. The loan has also enabled us to spend time speaking with specialists within the gin industry and undertake research into the distilling process to further our knowledge.”
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