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Loan Overview


The Restart interest and cost-free loan is targeted at entrepreneurs and other skilled refugees. The main objective is to assist clients in becoming self-reliant by utilizing their existing productive capacities. Funds are offered to individuals for the purposes of engaging in productive activities, with the ultimate goal of improving beneficiaries’ economic situation. Restart prioritises applicants that are not yet employed or those who are underemployed and have no access to mainstream finance.

  • There is no interest or fees associated with the loan

  • There are no fees of any kind, and clients will not be asked for any upfront payments

  • The loan amount is repayable by the beneficiary and the maximum amount is that of the sum originally borrowed


Applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • They have been granted refugee status

  • They have been in the country for no longer than 7 years (in some special cases this criterion may be relaxed e.g. in cases with a prolonged asylum claim prior to receiving refugee status)

  • They are geographically stable and settled, i.e. have leave to remain in the UK sufficient for the repayment of the loan.   

  • They have permission to, and are able to work

  • They have adequate English language and digital literacy

  • They have professional skills they are able to evidence by documentation, or demonstrate in an interview

  • They have a realistic business or professional development plan which makes repayment of the loan likely

  • They have no access to mainstream finance

The loan is to be used for the following purposes:

  • Seed capital for business start-ups and business development 

  • Expenses relating to professional re-qualification and accreditation


Restart does not adopt rigid lending criteria, but loans are based on the following considerations and guidelines:

The guideline given for the maximum Loan is £10000, however some flexibility is provided to suit relevant applications.

Loans are structured to be repaid within three years of achieving professional qualification or right to practice, starting a new business or self-employment.

Loans are only granted where Restart has good reason to believe that full repayment, in the future, will be possible. We do not make loans or grants for “social needs” but rather for purposes relating to economic integration of refugees

Lending is focussed on two groups of applicants:

  • Professionals who need to requalify and

  • Individuals who wish to be self-employed or start a small business