Scottish start-up loan provider marks record year despite pandemic

Stuart Yuill
Stuart Yuill

Glasgow-based not-for-profit lender DSL Business Finance Ltd provided over £5.6 million to Scottish SMEs and social enterprises in a record year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The alternative finance provider saw its funding increase by nearly 25 per cent from £4.5 million in 2019 as it continued to assist enterprise in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between July 2020 and June 2021, DSL provided 199 loans to start-ups and growing businesses in Scotland. The average loan size from DSL grew to £28,539, an increase of more than £8,000 from the previous year. This funding allowed 1,020 jobs to be maintained and 211 new jobs were created.

Overall growth over the past five years has seen DSL increase its lending amount by over £5m, with double the number of loans being granted each month compared to that of 2016.

On top of its own funding of £5.6m across 199 investments, DSL has leveraged £3.42m in co-financing from the private sector and a further £140,000 from the public sector.

Executive director Stuart Yuill said: “During these unprecedented times we have remained open for business and are proud that we have been able to offer a lifeline to many clients, both new and existing, despite economic uncertainty.

“We see ourselves as having a vital role to play in supporting Scotland’s economy to maximise growth opportunities as we recover from Covid-19. In particular, we are delighted that our work has allowed 1,020 individuals to remain employed and brought new job opportunities to a further 211 individuals.

“Throughout the past year we have provided new loans to many deserving businesses that are highly unlikely to have received funding elsewhere, particularly in the current climate. It’s incredibly impressive to see how these businesses have adapted and diversified their offering, in many cases improving beyond their original ideas.

“We are continuing to build on the record year we had in 2020/21, providing loan funding to organisations and entrepreneurs that would otherwise struggle to either start a new business or keep their existing business afloat in the current climate.”

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