Latest News | 20 May 2021

Young entrepreneurs urged to take advantage of new scheme

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Vibrant Accountancy is urging young entrepreneurs in Derby to take advantage of a new education scheme recently launched by the Government.

The Duffield Road-based accountancy firm is urging adults to take advantage of the “lifetime skills guarantee”, which will allow all adults to get a ‘flexible loan’ for part or full-time higher education and training at a university or college.

Beverley Wakefield, who set up Vibrant with business partner Ian Ball just four months before the first coronavirus lockdown, believes the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill will benefit hundreds of people in the East Midlands.

She said: “It is staggering the sheer volume of businesses which have been created during the past 12 months, particularly here in the East Midlands.

“We have seen a wave of young start-ups and also companies reimagining their business model – the likes of Derby doughnut entrepreneurs, Project D.

“Because there have been very few jobs for young people out there over the last year, this Generation Next age group, the under-35s, have almost been forced into trying something new and that, I believe, has made them more entrepreneurial.

“This second year of business, though, will be more about consolidating their position in the marketplace and, to do that successfully, they may need to gain a whole new skill set to run their business successfully; they may want to learn more about digital marketing and PR – or even have a better understanding of accountancy.

“Experience and seeking out those people with experience who can help and support you is vital in making your business a success. That, in turn, will give people confidence and, hopefully, economic growth in the UK will follow.”

Over the last 18 months, there has been support available from the Government in the form of furlough and Bounce Back loans.

The Bounce Back loan scheme, which ended in March, saw 1.5 million eligible claimants take up a combined total of £46.53 billion.

It is now time for those businesses to start repaying their loan but, as Beverley explains, payments can be deferred and extensions to the loan period applied for.

She said: “The key here is to work out if you really need the money or not, if you don’t need it – and you’re not going to make use of it – then it makes sense to pay it back.

“However, there are options such as ‘Pay As You Grow’, which means that you can request an extension of your loan term to 10 years – originally it was six years – at the same fixed interest rate of 2.5 per cent.

“You can reduce your monthly repayments for six months by paying interest only and you can do this up to three times during the term of your loan. There is also an option to take a repayment holiday for up to six months.

“The Government give you the option, too, of using one or all of the options mentioned above.

“A word of caution though; its strongly recommended that you put a cash flow forecast in place to help you identify where you may have potential pinch points, so that you can use these strategies as required and to ensure that you can afford the repayments required.

“As always, if you need help with all the jargon, speak to a professional who can help with funding and cash flow forecasting options.”

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