Since the Start Up Loans initiative launched in 2012, 2,136 loans – nearly 40 per cent of those awarded north of the Border – have been granted to young entrepreneurs, according to the Start-Up Loans Company, which is part of the British Business Bank.
A total of 5,626 Scottish smaller businesses have so far received support through the programme, accounting for some £47m of funding.
Edinburgh received the highest overall value of Start Up Loans in Scotland, with more than £7m lent through 690 loans.
Glasgow saw the highest number of individual loans at 799, worth a combined £6m, while businesses in Aberdeen and Dundee received 159 and 187 loans both totalling in excess of £3.2m.
Glasgow-based Victoria Nicol was 28 when she received a loan to help grow her language translation business, My Language Connection. It has since gone on to triple its headcount and expand its reach to serve international clients.
Nicol said: “Securing funding through the Start Up Loans programme was a crucial steppingstone in the growth of My Language Connection, enabling us to secure additional contracts and build a team of employees to support the commercial and operational side of the business.
“For early-stage companies and first-time entrepreneurs, the support offered through the programme is invaluable. Securing funding meant that I was able to focus on business development and building our client relationships during the crucial first couple of years of trading.”
The £15m milestone comes as the UK-wide Start Up Loans programme surpasses more than £600m worth of loans to entrepreneurs outside of London, equating to 68,559 loans.
Richard Bearman, managing director of Start Up Loans, said: “Scotland has a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and young people play an important part in helping that to prosper and grow.
“Providing £15m of funding to Scottish business founders under 30 is a significant milestone for the government-backed Start Up Loans programme and mirrors the success of the programme throughout the UK,” he added.