The government has added £30m of funding to its Start-Up Loans scheme, which is designed to help young entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground.
In addition to taking the scheme to £110m, the government is extending the age limit for those applying from 24 to 30 years of age.
More than 3,000 people have applied for or registered interest in a Start-Up Loan, which has a repayment period of five years.
The government said that in the three months the scheme has been operating more than £1.5m in loans had been approved, helping at least 460 new businesses get off the ground.
Ministers at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said around 100 new businesses a week were expected to reach approval stage this month, “with thousands more in the months ahead”.