Looking for more accessible finance? Look no further...
This month’s guest blogger, Executive Director of DSL Business Finance Stuart Yuill, pledges to continue supporting enterprise by providing more innovative female entrepreneurs with the right tools to start or grow their business.
DSL Business Finance was established in 1993, and is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Consumer Credit Association. We provide start-up and growth loans for SMEs and social enterprises across Scotland, which are unable to access funding from banks and other traditional sources due to poor credit scores, or simply having too much ambition. Together, we’ve been able to distribute over £14 million of loans to 1,220 businesses creating and maintaining 3,247 jobs.
The Scottish Microfinance Fund (SMF) is a £6 million fund managed and delivered by DSL Business Finance (DSL) with the support of the Scottish Government, Start-up Loans Company (SULCo) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Fund supports enterprise in Scotland by providing microfinance loans of up to £25,000 to innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs looking to kick start or grow their business.
Since launching in December 2016, SMF has lent more than £2 million to more than 150 businesses, creating and maintaining 300 jobs. We’re extremely proud that almost half of our loans have been distributed to inspiring female entrepreneurs across the country, including Alison Simpson, CEO and founder of Red Bus Bistro.
Alison approached SMF to launch the second phase of her business, which provides sightseeing tours of Edinburgh and Glasgow aboard a vintage refurbished 66 Route Master with afternoon tea and gin cocktails: ‘‘The team at SMF really want you to succeed. They work with you to develop a strong business plan before presenting to the panel. The SMF advisor who came out to see us was excellent, he took the time to get to know us and the business personally.”
Alison was successful in her SMF application, and used the funds to buy and refurbish a second bus to grow the business and expand to Glasgow, where she now operates at full capacity. Hear more about her journey.
The Scottish Microfinance Fund (SMF) is here to help existing and future business owners access the funding they need to turn dreams into reality by securing funding. We have the ability to support business owners from start to finish in every way we can, with every client receiving at least one face-to-face meeting with one of our Loan Officers who are based across the country. We work closely with multiple advisors at Business Gateway, Incubators and Elevators including others to ensure you have the best possible chance of securing funding.
Loans beyond £25,000 (generally a maximum of £50,000) are also available as we operate more than one loan fund. So, should applicants not meet the SMF criteria, whether for a start-up or existing business; there are other options, don’t worry!
If you’d like to find out more we would love to hear from you - assisting with funding start-up and growing businesses is what we do best. We are an integral part of the financial eco-system in Scotland so get in touch to find out more.
Check out our YouTube channel to hear first-hand from businesses how a loan from SMF has helped to realise their ambitions.