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Date updated: 5/17/2022

Samuel Wilson’s Loan Trust is a charitable organisation which grants business loans to young people for establishing and developing new businesses.

Who was Samuel Wilson?

Samuel Wilson was born in 1692 into a Quaker family and became an apprentice to his father who was a cooper (coopers primarily made barrels for wine). He joined the Coopers’ livery company and gained the Freedom of the City. He eventually became a wine merchant and moved to Hatton Garden. When he died in 1769 he gave the City of London Corporation £20,000 in trust to set up the loan scheme which was called the Samuel Wilson’s Loan Trust (SWLT).

What can Samuel Wilson’s Loan Trust Offer?

The Trust offers loans to people aged 39 and under who have recently set up business or are about to engage in a trade, manufacture, business or profession and who are experiencing financial difficulty or another disadvantage.

Who can apply?

There are a number of simple conditions which must be followed for a loan application to be considered. To qualify for a loan individuals must

  • Be between the age of 18 and 39 inclusive
  • Have recently set up or be about to set up in a trade, manufacture, business or profession
  • Operate in the area of Greater London or the counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, East Sussex or West Sussex

Please note applicants must not be a publican, a distiller or vendor of distilled liquors (unless the sale of alcohol is incidental to the main activity of the business)

Successful applicants will have ideally traded for up to two years, although consideration will be given to businesses that do not have any evidence of trading if a robust business plan with a detailed and realistic financial forecast is included as part of the application.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please contact us via SWLT enquiries.

Loan Terms

Each loan application will be reviewed and if considered to meet all the set criteria outlined above and has a robust business plan, then the application will be considered by the Trustees. The precise interest rate, amount and period of the loan will be considered on an individual basis, determined at the discretion of the Trustees. However, loans must usually be repaid within five years. Please be advised that one or more sureties may be required to guarantee the repayment of the loan including any interest that is due.

How to apply

If you would like further information or to request the application form please contact contact us via SWLT enquiries.

The Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre (SBREC) can also provide you with support and guidance on how to write a business plan as well as support your market research that you will need to undertake to strengthen your business plan and application. You can expect a reply from the SBREC team within 2 working days.

The Small Business Research and Enterprise Centre is open Monday-Friday during office hours.

Submitting your application

Once you have completed the loan application and you have produced a detailed business plan please email them both to SWLT submissions, together with supporting documentation.

Please note that there may be a delay of a few weeks before you hear back from the Trust whilst they review your application.