Numerous world-known entrepreneurs have come from Scotland, a testament to its strength in terms of starting and developing a business. Scotland is a popular tourist destination known for its cultural, natural, and urban beauty, which is an ideal environment for entrepreneurs and startups to thrive.

SMEs Scotland

SMEs Scotland

The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) sector provided 1.2 million jobs in Scotland as of March 2020. According to the results of the 2020 survey, small and medium-sized enterprises made up 99.3% of private sector businesses and employed 55.7% of private-sector workers.


Growth of Scottish Industry

Growth of Scottish Industry

Scottish private sector businesses have continued to thrive year-on-year since the turn of the Millenium, there has been an 53.1% increase in private sector businesses operating in Scotland since the year 2000 an increase of 126,415 businesses.

Impact of COVID-19 On Scottish Business: GDP

Impact of COVID-19 On Scottish Business: GDP

Despite Scotland’s recent economic successes, the impact of Covid-19 has negatively impacted SMEs adversely, as you would expect, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) having fallen GDP by 8.1% compared to its pre-Covid level. More worryingly perhaps, compared to the same period last year, Scotland’s GDP has fallen by 5.3%.

There was growth of 1.0% in the production sector in Quarter 1 and growth of 1.7% in the construction sector. However, an even larger drop in the services sector, which accounts for three-quarters of the economy, offset this growth. Education, accommodation, food services, and retail were the major contributors to the decrease, with new or increased restrictions imposed across Scotland from the end of December on.

Scottish Growth Scheme

Scottish Growth Scheme

To combat the decline in the economy due to the impact of COVID the Scottish Government and other organisations have created several alternative financing and funding options to help small businesses thrive again in Scotland.

Five different fund managers will provide financial assistance to small and medium enterprises throughout Scotland. This covers equity investment up to £2 million, microloans up to £25,000, as well as debt and loan financing up to £100,000 each. The Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund provided this funding.

Businesses can apply to the following managers for funding


DSL Business Finance Limited

Glasgow-based DSL Business Finance Limited is a not-for-profit microfinance provider. They offer loans up to £25,000.

UMi Debt Finance Scotland Ltd

Edinburgh-based employee-owned company UMI Debt Finance Scotland. They offer loans ranging from £25,000 to £100,000.

Business Loans Scotland

Business Loans Scotland is comprised of a group of local authorities. They will accept applications for loans from £25,000 to £100,000, and in some special circumstances £250,000. Loan repayments can be made over 5 years.

Techstart Ventures

Techstart Ventures provide funding to innovative businesses at an early stage of development. A maximum of £2 million can be requested for equity financing.

Foresight Group

Foresight Group is an investment manager that specializes in infrastructure and private equity. They offer equity financing up to £10 million.

Financing is provided in stages. The maximum amount you will be awarded each stage is £2 million.


Scottish Loan Scheme

Scottish Loan Scheme

Scottish enterprises with a higher turnover could be eligible for the Scottish Loan Scheme

Under the Scottish Loan Scheme (SLS), companies with a viable, repayable business plan and a clear ability to repay the debt can access loan funding ranging from £250,000 to £2m (and up to £5m in exceptional circumstances). Working capital loans, capital expenditure loans, growth loans, and international expansion loans are all potentially available depending on your business’s needs.

To qualify for the Scottish Loan Scheme your company will need to have a turnover of at least £250,000 and fit the following criteria:

  • Based in Scotland or relocation to Scotland before any funds are made available
  • You must have a viable business plan which demonstrates your ability to achieve your business’ revenue targets and how you will pay back the loan
  • Provide evidence of attempts that you made to get funding from elsewhere
  • The company has been in operation for at least two years
  • The company has a turnover of £250,000 per year and is profitable or can show evidence that they will be imminently profitable.
  • The loan funding needs to secure or maintain economic impact in Scotland commensurate with the level of funding being sought
  • Your business supports fair work practices
  • Sectors not eligible for funding; banking and insurance and sub-prime lending, gambling, adult entertainment, activities with adverse impact on human rights, tobacco, and locally traded services

Enquire about the SLS at Scottish Enterprise, a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency. They work with partners in both the public and private sectors and seek to find the best opportunities they can that will significantly and permanently affect the Scottish economy.

Additional Resources

Additional Resources Funding Search

Alongside producing a plethora of informative business articles to improve Scottish enterprises, also provide a combination of grant and loan packages of between £10,000 and £60,000, which are available to help encourage business growth in Scottish regions. Three-quarters of the amount requested is given as a grant, and the rest must be repaid over five years. To discover what’s available and see if you’re eligible, visit


Scottish-Enterprise, aside from allowing application to the Scottish Loan Scheme, provide a host of information resources such as publications, business guides webinars and even events aimed at improving Scottish businesses.

Business Gateway

A publicly funded business support service, Business Gateway lends to the economic prosperity of the Scottish economy by providing free tailored advice, resources, webinars, and business development advice to help improve or sustain your company’s growth.

Alternative Finance to Scottish SMEs

Alternative Finance to Scottish SMEs

Since the 2008 financial crisis, Capify has helped provide alternative finance to companies across the UK when they need it the most. We put the needs of our customers at the center of everything we do, so it’s vital to make our loans easy to use and easy access. Our online application only takes 60 seconds to complete, and at the end, you’ll find out if you’ve been conditionally approved!

Helping local businesses with Business Loans Scotland

Capify has been behind small British businesses for over 10 years, helping retailers, restaurants, salons, and other service businesses raise affordable, easy finance. Our friendly team is based in Altrincham, South Manchester, which is home to its very own award-winning independent high street.

Capify believes every independent business should be able to grow, expand, and make essential improvements. With flexible finance, you could refurbish your premises, invest in brand new equipment, splash out on award-winning staff training, or fill your shelves with shiny new stock. Whatever you need to do to, Capify can help you raise flexible, affordable funding to make it happen.

How does the Capify Business Loan work?

We know that many businesses in Scotland, and the rest of the UK, find it tough to afford expensive monthly repayments, and this can hold them back from raising crucial business finance. Instead of repaying your loan in fixed amounts, you can make small daily or weekly repayments.

You can raise £5,000 to over £500,000 with Capify, then pay off the loan in small daily or weekly payments over 6 to 12 months. Whatever works best.

The benefits of a Business Loan from Capify

  • Raise from £5,000
  • Payback little and often
  • No monthly lump sum
  • Opportunity to raise more funds
  • Get your funding within days of applying

To be eligible for a Business Loan, you’ll need to:

  • Run a UK-based business as a limited company
  • Process more than £10,000 a month through your business bank account
  • Have at least 12 months’ trading records


If you’re a limited company that has been trading for over 12 months and has a turnover of £120,000+, apply online today to discover how much you qualify for.



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