Start Up Loans partners with the Open University

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Start-up loans partner with @Open University offer a range of free business learning courses

The partnership offers a bespoke set of courses for new, established and aspiring business people

The government-backed Start Up Loans program has partnered with world-renowned distance learning provider The Open University to give its customers – and other small business owners across the UK – the opportunity to take free Open University business learning courses.

At a time of significant upheaval for UK start-ups, the partnership aims to help businesses get started by giving them the confidence and training they need to take their ideas to the next level.

The online courses are easily accessible by visiting the Start Up Loans website and have been designed to meet all learning needs and paces, from introductory to intermediate to advanced. Depending on the level of study, the courses last six, 10 or 30 hours.

In partnership with experts from the Open University (OU), Start Up Loans has also organized a set of courses designed specifically to help entrepreneurs understand the fundamentals of running a business. Hosted on the UO’s OpenLearn platform, these courses focus on areas such as career and leadership; finance and accounting; marketing and sales awareness; and project management.

Helping aspiring business owners who would otherwise struggle to access finance has always been an integral part of the start-up loan offer, alongside its low interest loans of between £5,000 and £25,000.

In fact, of those who received a loan since 2012, 31,036 (40%) were women, more than 15,000 (20%) were people from Black, Asian and Minority (BAME) communities and 20,600 ( 27%) were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start-up community.

The courses will build on the existing mentoring support program, including resources on the “Learn with Start UP Loans” hub, which the program offers to all of its clients as they prepare to bring their business ideas to life. .

Richard Bearman, CEO of Start Up Loans, said:

“Offering ongoing, free advice and support has always been the guiding principle that separates start-up loans from other financing options available to aspiring small business owners.

“Amid the current uncertainty facing small business owners, additional guidance and training is needed more than ever. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Open University to provide the UK start-up community with expert advice to support their vital contribution to the UK economy.

Jane Roberts, head of OpenLearn at the Open University, said:

OpenLearn is delighted to be able to play a part in supporting UK entrepreneurs and small businesses through this new partnership. The range of free courses we are able to offer are designed to suit working life and will hopefully help many to not only survive these difficult times, but to emerge stronger and able to thrive in the future.

Start Up Loans recognizes that, during these difficult economic times, it is more vital than ever to provide longer-term support options and advice to all UK small business owners, in a safe online format.

In addition to the partnership and its pre-loan coaching and mentoring program, Start Up Loans has published a guide series on important business areas including social media, marketing and SEO. The guides, which can be downloaded for free from the Start Up Loans website, are designed to ensure business owners of all stripes have the resources they need to start and grow a successful business.

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