Supporting SME growth and enterprise in Scotland: Celebrating the first year of the Scottish Microfinance Fund

Supporting SME growth and enterprise in Scotland: Celebrating the first year of the Scottish Microfinance Fund

The Scottish Microfinance Fund is here to help current and future business owners access the funding they need to turn dreams into reality by securing a small business loan of up to £25,000.

Founder of SMC Cosmetics UK, Andrew Pearson approached The Scottish Microfinance Fund (SMF) for a loan to get his nail polish manufacturing business in Invergordon off the ground after being turned down by banks, or only offered a loan with high interest rates.

Previously a chartered engineer working in Glasgow, Pearson wanted to move back to the Highlands to raise his young family, and using previous industry relationships, technical expertise and the opportunity to start a new family business working closely with his father, SMC Cosmetics was born.

Nail polish involves flammable raw materials and the start-up cost is significant, so Pearson had a big hurdle to overcome to raise enough funding. The company’s start-up status also meant banks tended to categorise the business as high-risk, so sourcing an affordable loan was almost impossible.

Pearson said: “The SMF stepped in to help SMC Cosmetics UK at a critical time during the start-up phase, ensuring the final stages of the business plan could be executed effectively. Where banks and other sources of finance were looking to charge high rates or take equity, SMF showed its focus was firmly on local, economic growth. 

“The business and mentor support we received from our loan officer, Murray Marshall, during this time was invaluable to SMC Cosmetics UK and he ensured our loan was provided in a short time-scale.”

Since launching in December 2016, The SMF has lent over £1.7m of its £6m funding pot to more than 90 businesses, thus creating jobs and supporting entrepreneurship across the country.

The SMF is delivered by DSL Business Finance on behalf of the Scottish Government with support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Start Up Loans Company for which DSL is the only Scotland-based delivery partner. The fund provides loans of up to £25,000 to businesses in Scotland encouraging businesses to become established, grow and develop.

Successful applicants will receive a competitive interest rate of 6% and will not be burdened by arrangement fees or early repayment fees.

The application process for the SMF is simple, quick and effective and if you do not meet the criteria for a SMF loan, DSL has other funding options available. Our friendly experienced team can talk you through everything you need to know and give you the support you need every step of the way. Give us a call or visit our website to find out more.

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Phone: 0141 425 2930