“Start-up loans give people across the country the opportunity to swap the nine-to-five for a new career as their own boss," she says. "So far, we’ve issued more than 33,000 loans worth over £180 million, and we want to deliver a total of 75,000 loans by the end of the parliament.”

The growing economy is also helping, Soubry adds: "The banks are beginning to lend again and around 80 per cent of loan or overdraft applications from smaller businesses are successful according to the SME Finance Monitor. We are also increasingly seeing alternative finance such as peer-to-peer lending and crowd funding providing alternative options.”

SMEs are also benefiting from the advice and expertise at the new network of Growth Hubs around the country, Soubry says. “Growth Hubs are there to make sure businesses across the country can get the support they need, including on how to access to finance, from experts who know the local area best.”