Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


4,597 Welsh Businesses Uplifted with £46m from Start-Up Loans


Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has delivered more than £46m in more than 4,500 loans across Wales, with the average loan amount in Wales more than £10,000.

The top five local authorities in Wales by Start Up Loans value are Swansea (£5.9m), Cardiff (£5.4m), Newport (£2.9m), Carmarthenshire (£2.8m), and Caerphilly (£2.8m).

Across the UK the Bank, has delivered more than £1bn of loans to 105,109 businesses, at an average of £9,547 per business.

Supporting under-represented groups

£201m (20%) of the £1bn has been lent to people from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities).

Just 4% of the UK’s small businesses in 2021 were majority-led by people from an ethnic minority group and only 20% of new businesses had female founders according to The Rose Review. The Start Up Loans programme provides a means of reaching under-represented groups who are excluded from mainstream finance by helping them start businesses.

In Wales, recent figures show that less than 3% of small businesses are majority-led by people from an ethnic minority group[1], and of the £45m delivered in loans to Welsh businesses, more than £4m (8%) has been lent to people from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities).

The data also reports that across the UK, £371m (40%) has been lent to female business owners.

Backing 18-24s to start a business

Young people between 18-24 years old have received £106m (11%) in loans since the programme began.

In Wales, 18-24 year olds make up 10% of individuals who have received Start Up Loans, totaling just over £5m, while 31-49 year olds have received just under £25m in loans, making up 53% of all Start Up Loans delivered in Wales since 2012.

Case study: Feral Pig Wines, Newport, Pembrokeshire

One recent Start Up Loans recipient in Wales is Dave Cushley, who took out a loan of £10,000 in February 2023.

Dave, 41, a trained sommelier and former restaurant manager, recently established an independent wine shop which sells a range of locally and sustainably produced wine from Wales, including Narberth-based Velfrey Vineyard and Carmarthenshire-based Hebron Vineyard, as well as an array of wines from smaller-scale producers across the world.

The shop, Feral Pig Wines, has opened its doors on the grounds of acclaimed boutique hotel, Llys Meddyg in Newport, Pembrokeshire.

Dave Cushley, founder of Feral Pig Wines, said:

“My Start Up Loan provided the funds I needed to be able to get my business up and running, something I’d dreamt of for a long time. The loan allowed me to purchase all the stock I needed to open the shop, and I’ve also now been able to expand the business further to facilitate online orders and delivery, as well as opening every evening as a wine bar in addition to the shop. To put it simply, without the financial backing I received from the British Business Bank I just wouldn’t have been able to get Feral Pigs Wine off the ground.”

Susan Nightingale, UK Network Director for the Devolved Nations, British Business Bank, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Start Up Loans has delivered over £1bn worth of loans across the UK to date, and also to have reached over £46m worth of funding to businesses in Wales. Entrepreneurialism and innovation across Wales and the rest of the UK has seen the Bank support some brilliant businesses, including Feral Pig Wines, which we hope continues to grow with success. We look forward to seeing what the next generation of Welsh entrepreneurs can achieve, and we’re proud to continue to support small businesses through our Start Up Loans funding and post loan support.”

Small Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, said:

“Across the UK, thousands of small businesses have now been supported by over a billion pounds in Start Up Loans.

“This crucial support is enabling enterprising companies like Feral Pig Wines start and scale up their ventures and I urge even more to follow in their footsteps.”

Value for money to the UK taxpayer

The Start Up Loan programme has been shown to be value for money to the tax payer with an independent review showing the economic benefits of the scheme are 5.7 times the economic cost[2].




Business News Wales