£21.5 million pledged for Scottish SMEs

£21.5 million pledged for Scottish SMEs

Plans to expand the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) will offer greater help to small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland.

The move will see an allocation of £21.5m made, following the Scottish Government’s programme for Government commitment to address the gaps in the market for financing SMEs by creating a Business Development Bank (BDB).

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Small business is the engine of our economy and it is a national responsibility to try to provide an even playing field to help them grow.

“I believe the best approach to creating the Scottish Business Development Bank is to enhance the remit of the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) and for Scottish Enterprise to offer a wider range of business investment approaches, addressing some of the marketplace gaps to improve the supply of funding.”

Scottish Enterprise has been asked to prepare a plan for creating the BDB services by expanding the remit of SIB, and they are due to report before the end of the Parliamentary session next month.

“Building on Scottish Enterprise’s strong track record of delivering innovative interventions, such as the Scottish Co-Investment Funds and the Scottish Loan Fund, we will focus on a response which addresses both supply and demand issues relating to increasing the available funding options and helping companies to successfully raise funding,” says Dr Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise.

“This will include improving the accessibility of information on the sources of available finance and increasing the diversity of funding options available to SMEs. “