British Business Bank names West Lothian as Scotland’s ‘most entrepreneurial area’

British Business Bank names West Lothian as Scotland's 'most entrepreneurial area'

Louise McCoy

West Lothian has the highest rate of successful Start Up Loans applications per adult in Scotland, laying its claim to being the country’s most entrepreneurial local authority area, according to new analysis by the British Business Bank.

Released to mark the beginning of Business Finance Week, the Bank found that people between the ages of 18 and 65 in West Lothian secured 279 loans from its Start Up Loans programme, totalling £2.16 million of funding. This gave it the highest loan to adult population rate in Scotland, at 2.4 per 1,000 since the scheme began in 2012.

Clackmannanshire came joint second with the Highland local authority area, with a loan rate of 2.3 per 1,000 adults, placing both ahead of Scotland’s cities and larger council areas.

North Ayrshire was fourth on the list, with 2.2 loans per 1,000 adults spread over total funding of £1.1 million. Meanwhile, owners of smaller businesses in Edinburgh received the highest amount of lending at £8.29 million, but the Scottish capital had the fifth highest loans per 1,000 adults at 2.1.

Working with well-respected partners from across the UK, the British Business Bank is hosting Business Finance Week 2022, a five-day nationwide series of events, webinars and more, aimed at helping smaller businesses learn about the different finance options available to them.

Louise McCoy, commercial director for Start Up Loans, said: “It is great to see regions in Scotland, like West Lothian and Clackmannanshire, with a mix of rural and urban areas featuring at the top of the list for Start Up Loans given, weighted according to local authority population size.

“West Lothian, particularly in and around Livingston, has a rich ecosystem of ambitious smaller businesses and it is highly encouraging that they are accessing finance to support their plans for growth.

“One of the British Business Bank’s principal aims is to make finance more accessible to smaller businesses wherever they are located, and our previous research has pointed to distance from finance centres being a significant challenge.

“Business Finance Week is about making businesses owners aware of the many options available to them, whether through equity finance, angel investment, or green finance.”

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