A Worcester company was among the enterprises to benefit from a scheme supporting entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

The initiative by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has distributed more than £140 million in loans since it was first established in 2012.

This has resulted in a total of 13,422 loans, each on average amounting to £10,427 being issued.

Of these, more than £11 million has specifically been delivered to business owners aged 50 or more in the West Midlands, where close to 1,000 enterprises benefitted from the project.

The funding programme has made a significant contribution, particularly from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024, to national strategies aimed at encouraging individuals over the age of 50 back into the workforce.

This is achieved through initiatives meant to spur economic growth.

Chris Hopkirk and Hayley Aghanian, founders of The Business of Mindfulness, offer mental health and wellbeing strategies to other enterprises, aimed at enhancing employee wellbeing, and creating a successful business.

Mr Hopkirk, managing director at The Business of Mindfulness, said: "Mindfulness and the pursuit of this business has enabled me to become aware of my reactive behaviours and by working mindfully I was able to bring an equanimity to my day-to-day engagement and ultimately was able to introduce it to my staff.

"Pursuing this passion I had developed, starting a business to share this awareness with others who might be seeking similar support seemed like a logical step for my career."

The loan was given through Enterprise Loans East Midlands, the programme’s partner in the region.

Sophie Dale-Black, UK Network Director for the Midlands and North of England, Start Up Loans, said: "As Chris demonstrates, you can further your business ambitions at any age.

"It’s why we encourage anyone with a good business idea to get in touch and learn more about how the Start Up Loans programme might be able to help turn it into reality.

"It is interesting to note the high proportion of the funding during and after the pandemic, suggesting that many people of 50+ re-evaluated and took action to pursue their business ambitions.”

The Start Up Loans programme provides free mentoring for a year and offers loans of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6 per cent per annum to be repaid within one to five years.