Young whisky merchant scores £20,000 support

Young whisky merchant scores £20,000 support

A young Scottish entrepreneur has become the first recipient of a £20,000 YoungEDGE loan.

Gregor Hannah is the director of Hannah Whisky Merchants, which buys and sells premium whisky casks from distilleries which have either closed down or have produced a limited amount of a particular cask.

The new loan of £20,000 will be used to finish the company’s single malt bourbon casks with sherry and other styles to create very unique flavours, alongside other capital expenditure projects.

Mr Hannah said:“There are limited lending options from banks in Scotland for very small businesses, even if you have ambitious growth plans, and if you’re under twenty-five or not involved in the technology industry you will struggle to receive awards or loans from third parties. 

“Young EDGE Loans are one of the only places a young entrepreneur can go to obtain funding or support. The support the team at the Scottish EDGE provide is exceptional - there is a genuine warmth and want for people and individuals to succeed.” 

The new service from Scottish Edge offers loans of between £2,500 and £25,000 to young entrepreneurs, and is the first offering to use an application structure rather than a competition structure, and aim to fill the funding gap left by the closure of the Prince’s Trust’s Growth Fund in 2015.

With soft repayment terms, Young EDGE Loans are designed to give entrepreneurs flexibility and support in managing their businesses.

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of the Scottish EDGE, said: “We recognise that young people can struggle to raise finance from commercial sources due to a variety of factors such as age and lack of experience and security.  

“We’ve designed Young EDGE Loans to offer finance to businesses who are keen to grow but lack the finance to put their plans in place. 

“Together with our partner organisations, our staff will ensure that young entrepreneurs have access to experience, guidance and mentorship throughout their loan term and beyond.” 

Young EDGE Loans are funded by the Hunter Foundation and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Head of entrepreneurship at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Scottish EDGE board member, Gordon Merrylees, added: “We believe that the support offered by Scottish EDGE and their partner organisations has the potential to transform the success of small businesses and look forward to seeing Gregor’s business, and those of other applicants, achieve their growth ambitions in the years ahead.”