A young retailer from Edinburgh has become the milestone recipient of government loan funding to assist start-ups throughout the UK.
Formed three years ago, Transmit Start-Ups provides finance, support and mentoring for new businesses as part of the Start-Up Loans Company initiative. To date, it has delivered more than £10 million of funding to upwards of 1,200 entrepreneurs across Scotland and England.
Emma Riddell, who sells gelato-style ice cream from a bike at the Tram Stop Market in Leith, took Transmit Start-Ups through the £10m barrier with the loan that allowed her to set up Moo Pie. She decided to work for herself after nearly ten years in the retail and food and drink sectors.
The loan allowed Riddell – a graduate of East Lothian’s Queen Margaret University and the Gelato University of ice cream in Bologna, Italy – to buy equipment including a state-of-the-art batch freezer from an Italian manufacturer.
“I was delighted when I found out that my start-up loan application had been accepted,” she said. “I relish a challenge and having worked in customer-facing roles for so long I felt this was the perfect time for me to start up for myself.”
With offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, about one out of every five applications received by Transmit Start-Ups comes from Scotland. Just over 70 per cent of Scottish-based recipients start their business from full-time employment, while 15 per cent strike out on their own after a period of unemployment.