More than 5,800 Scottish businesses receive nearly £50m of Start Up Loans funding

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has delivered more than 5,800 loans to business owners in Scotland since 2012, providing almost £50 million of funding, in line with the country’s share of the UK’s business population.

More than 5,800 Scottish businesses receive nearly £50m of Start Up Loans funding

Rory MacDonald

Entrepreneurs often dream of opening a business for months, or even years, before they take the leap and set the process in motion. In every business owner’s life, there comes a moment when they say “Yes” and make the decision to work toward becoming a successful business owner.

The timing of that crucial decision point, and the journey to get there, is different for everyone. It can be a moment when they decide to apply for funding, to create a website, or draft up a business plan. For budding entrepreneurs looking to take their first step into the world of business ownership, however big or small, that vital ‘Yes’ moment can be life-changing.

Rory MacDonald received a Start Up Loan of £13,000 through British Business Bank delivery partner Transmit, in August 2018. This provided the essential tooling, materials, rent and insurances for Rory to open The Whisky Chairmen.

The Whisky Chairmen is a social enterprise making bespoke furniture from obsolete whisky barrels. Committed to tackling the spectres of poverty and social isolation within Inverclyde, they provide living wage employment for the local community in Greenock.

Rory MacDonald, founder of The Whisky Chairmen, said: “I don’t often say ‘yes’ but the moment I decided to start the business and take out a government-backed loan with Start Up Loans, I chose to say yes to me, my idea, and to taking myself as seriously as I was asking people to take me.”

Richard Bearman, managing director of Start-Up Loans, added: “Delivering over 90,000 loans and providing £800 million of funding is a huge milestone for the programme and reflects the ambition and determination the nation’s small businesses have demonstrated over the past few years.

“It’s brilliant to hear the stories of how Scottish business owners felt when they said ‘Yes’ to becoming their own boss. Our Ambassadors often tell us that, despite how nerve-wracking it may be to start a business, saying ‘Yes’ and firmly making the decision to go for it is half the battle.

“Start Up Loans offer many great resources for entrepreneurs on the cusp of saying ‘yes’ to starting a business. Our pre-loan support package, and mentoring scheme once a loan has been provided, mean all recipients are supported during one of the most exciting, but daunting, decisions of their lives.”

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