DSL Business Finance provides record £4.5 million shot in arm for Scots enterprises

Not-for-profit lender DSL Business Finance has marked a record year of supporting enterprises across Scotland, providing funding amounting to £4.5 million.

One business benefiting from DSL funding is the Nether Bow Cafe and Bistro in Edinburgh, run by husband and wife team Levent and Filiz Celik. Picture: Contributed
One business benefiting from DSL funding is the Nether Bow Cafe and Bistro in Edinburgh, run by husband and wife team Levent and Filiz Celik. Picture: Contributed

The Glasgow-headquartered alternative finance provider, which offers loans of up to £50,000 to organisations that would not generally be able to access traditional sources of funding, said the total was up on the £3.1m it provided in 2018.

DSL has ramped up its loan book in the last five years – in 2015 it provided total funding of just over £917,500.

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Between January and December last year, the lender gave 207 loans to 173 enterprises and the average loan size was £21,616. This funding created 233 jobs and maintained 1,012 existing positions. Its loans also led to further injections of funding, totalling £1.8m from the private sector and £318,150 from the public sector last year.

Stuart Yuill, DSL Business Finance executive director, said: “Despite economic uncertainty, primarily around Brexit, it’s rewarding that we are able to support more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than ever before across Scotland.

“We are already building on the record year we had in 2019 to continue to fund organisations and entrepreneurs that would otherwise struggle to get started or grow. Our funding supports job creation and benefits the wider economy.

“I’m proud that our work, and the achievements of the organisations we fund, have been recognised by the Citi Foundation.”

Nether Bow

One business benefiting from DSL funding is the Nether Bow Cafe and Bistro in Edinburgh, which is run by husband and wife team Levent and Filiz Celik. They had always wanted to run their own business and in April 2018 the opportunity arose to take over the coffee house they were working in and develop it as a cafe and bistro.

DSL provided the couple with a loan to refurbish the property, which included opening up the kitchen preparation area, increasing the customer cover space to 40 and other modernisation efforts.

DSL is the only Scotland-headquartered official delivery partner for the Start-Up Loans Company and also the fund manager appointed by the Scottish Government to deliver the Scottish Microfinance Fund, which provides loans of up to £25,000 to SMEs across the country as part of the Scottish Growth Scheme.

DSL and two businesses it funded have been shortlisted in the Responsible Finance Citi Foundation’s Microentrepreneurship Awards.