Scotland boasts businesses in all industries – from construction and tourism to life sciences. Many harness the research and innovation potential of universities in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews, Strathclyde and Stirling, among others. In fact, research and development are big in Edinburgh, which is why it's cited as one of Europe’s top 10 locations for science and technology.
Business loans in Scotland
To sustain the success of Scotland’s SMEs, it’s crucial that they can get hold of small business financing when they need it. Here’s a list of suitable alternative finance providers that lend to Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises.
Fleximize - Fleximize offers a range of unsecured business loans from £5,000 to £250,000. This is a quick and convenient source of financing – the money can be with you in as little as 48 hours. You only need to be trading for a minimum of six months, and you can repay over a term of 1 to 48 months.
Scottish Loan Scheme - Large loans ranging from £250,000 and £5 million are available to Scottish SMEs for working capital, growth and expansion in international markets. Terms range from 1-7 years and you must be able to demonstrate that your business promotes fair work practices and is at least 2 years old with a minimum turnover of £250,000.
Support for Aberdeenshire Business (SAB) – Business loans are available for local SMEs to help develop the region's economy and create jobs. The money can be used for plant and equipment purchases or working capital. Loans start at £5,000 with a top limit of £25,000. It's worth noting that higher amounts may be considered but will require security. In addition, the loan will only fund up to a third of your required total funding, so you will need to secure the other two-thirds elsewhere.
Social Investment Scotland All Purpose Loan – Social enterprises and community businesses in Scotland are eligible for loans between £10,000 and £1.6 million. You should be able to demonstrate how the funds will contribute to a positive long-term impact on local communities.
Start and Grow Scotland – To support business growth in Scottish regions, a combination of loan and grant packages between £10,000 and £60,000 are available. The grant makes up a third of the amount, and the rest needs to be repaid over a period of up to 5 years. Funding isn’t given to businesses that can access commercial financing.
Shetland Islands Council – Businesses with projects on the Shetland Islands can apply for funding to safeguard jobs, create new ones, increase exports and develop remote areas, among other goals. Whether you’re a startup or existing SME, the council will fund some of your project costs but you need to find at least 25% from another source.
DSL – SMEs can borrow between £1,000 and £50,000 if they’re in Scotland and have been a UK resident for at least 3 years. A business plan with at least one year’s financial projections is required. Rates vary from 6% to 9% and funding is provided via the Enterprise Finance Guarantee.
Business Loans Scotland - Secured loans ranging from £25,000 to £100,000 are available to startups and established SMEs. Unsecured loans are also available for up to £50,000. The money can be repaid over a term of up to 5 years. You can apply online and can expect a decision within two weeks.
SME Loan Fund - These interest-free SME loans are supported by the Scottish Government. The loans range from £1,000 to £100,000 and should be used to introduce measures like improving efficiency of energy, material resources and water. The investment can also be set against capital allowances and you'll also receive cashback on completion of your project.
You can browse the latest list of Start Up Loans delivery partners in Scotland here.
Apply for an SME loan today
Regardless of your industry, if you’d like to have a chat about unsecured business lending, contact us on 020 7100 0110. You can also start the application process for an unsecured loan by clicking on the Apply Now button – you could have the cash in your account within two days of receipt of your loan application.