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In the three years since Start Up Loans launched as a low interest alternative finance solution we have seen a steady rise in the number of women applying for and receiving the loans.

Just this month we were delighted to announce that BFS is bucking national business trends by helping twice the UK average number of women to start up in business in the North West. 42% of the loans and support we have awarded have been to women, a figure that has grown from 30% in 2013 and is more than twice the national average of 18% of businesses which are owned or managed by women, according to The Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Paul Breen, Director of Business Finance Solutions, said: “The number of women embracing entrepreneurship in the North West is a really encouraging reflection of the 21st century workplace and could have a significant effect on the economy.

“Traditionally women may have been discouraged from starting up their own business by a number of factors, from access to finance to childcare, but our new figures show that women across the region are overcoming these barriers.

“By making our low interest loans, mentoring and start up support more available to everyone we have been able to support some incredible women owned businesses to start up, grow and create jobs – from cafés and childcare to taxidermy and retail. Research has also shown that start ups run by women tend to be less likely to fail than those run by men because women are generally more risk averse and tend to avoid some of the pitfalls that can derail new businesses.”

A recent example is Fairy Godmothers Pamper Palace in Radcliffe, owned by Rebecca Warwick and Jodie Clough says: “Pamper parties have been growing in popularity for the past few years and thanks to the loan from BFS we have been able to secure the lease and refurbish our venue to a really high standard and we will be looking to explore a franchise route to enable us to grow the business in the long term.”

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