The Fund provided loans to companies throughout Highlands & Islands Scotland. A separate ERDF application for the Fund was submitted in the Lowlands & Uplands Scotland Programme area.
The Loan Fund provides unsecured and mezzanine debt to profitable, viable SMEs which: have already demonstrated growth over the last 3 years; are making a step change in their growth ambitions; and/or export at least 50% of their goods outwith Scotland. The Loan Fund is part of the Scottish Investment Bank which also includes the Scottish Seed, Co-investment and Venture Funds. These three existing Funds target early stage, high growth companies which typically need equity support to finance their growth plans. This new Loan Fund complements these products by focusing on predominantly more established companies typically exporting and/or with growth potential where debt is a more appropriate method of finance. A significant proportion of the companies seeking loan finance are account managed by Highlands & Islands Enterprise. These companies are be referred to HIE’s Investment Readiness teams who assess the companies’ access to finance needs, identify the most appropriate source of finance, then provide advice and assistance to companies in order to help them secure that finance, including referrals to the Scottish Investment Bank Loan Fund.
The private sector participates and the fund is delivered by industry recognised private sector, FSA authorised fund manager (or managers) appointed through an appropriate procurement process.