Pastéis Lisboa has been selected as a champion of UK start-ups by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank.
The announcement comes as the programme celebrates its tenth anniversary, having delivered more than 6,300 loans worth some £55 million to new business owners in Scotland since 2012.
Emma Airley and Sebastian Bacewicz, founders of Pastéis Lisboa, are among the recipients, having taken out loans in April to launch their bakery business. The couple were inspired by the new-wave of modern pastelarias in Portugal.
Airley said: “While Pastel de Nata is a familiar product to many people in the UK, it is challenging to find one handmade from scratch daily using the highest-quality natural ingredients, to an authentic, traditional recipe. Glaswegians are known for having a sweet tooth, and they can indulge themselves (almost) guilt-free at Pastéis Lisboa.
“The loans Sebastian and I received were instrumental in getting the business off the ground. After five years of meticulous planning and training, we used the funding to help us secure premises in the prime location we needed to launch from and towards our fit-out and equipment costs.
“Our first months have exceeded all our expectations and forecasts, with people travelling from all over Scotland to visit us and try our pastéis, and we’re excited about the prospect of opening a new location in Edinburgh next year, followed by a roll-out to other cities and a separate production bakery to fulfil our growing events and wholesale orders.”
The Start Up Loans Ambassadors programme, now in its seventh year, celebrates exceptional business owners who have followed their ambition of becoming their own boss after receiving support from the UK government-backed Start Up Loans programme, which was established as a £10m pilot scheme in 2012, in the shadow of the 2008 financial crisis.
Since then, the programme has delivered more than 97,000 loans to business owners across the UK, amounting to more than £900m of funding, while expanding to support entrepreneurs of all ages.
Susan Nightingale, devolved nations director, UK Network, said: “Given the current challenges facing business owners across Scotland, it’s never been more important to celebrate those using creativity, tenacity and grit to make a success of their enterprises.
“It’s my pleasure to welcome Sebastian and Emma and congratulate them on their roles as ambassadors, and I look forward to working with them over the coming year to inspire others thinking of becoming their own boss.”
Tina McKenzie, policy and advocacy chair at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “This is great news from the British Business Bank, marking ten years of improving the small business ‘birth rate’, and at the same time powering the levelling up agenda by supporting small business creation in all the UK nations and regions. Today’s figures and ambassadors are a real legacy for Lord Young, and we hope that this can be built on and expanded in future.”