Glasgow milk cocktail brand among Scots businesses given £62 million leg up
The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme has now delivered more than £1 billion worth of lending to smaller businesses across the UK, with £62m in almost 7,000 loans to firms in Scotland. On average, entrepreneurs have each received a funding boost of £9,165, along with additional mentoring support in areas like marketing, business development and business plan writing, since the programme began in 2012.
Scottish small businesses represent 6.2 per cent of the total £1bn of funding - said to be in line with the 6 per cent share of the UK’s business population. Edinburgh has seen the largest proportion of funding delivered to smaller business owners north of the Border, with some £9.5m provided across 850 loans. Meanwhile entrepreneurs in Glasgow have received the highest number of loans, with £8.5m shared amongst 970 business owners.
The British Business Bank said the programme provides a means of reaching under-represented groups, excluded from mainstream finance, by helping them start businesses.
One small business to benefit from the programme is Panther M*lk - an oat milk alcoholic cocktail brand based in Glasgow. The business recently secured its first major retail listing, with bottles of the cocktail now stocked in 40 of Asda’s supermarkets across Scotland.
Founder Paul Crawford said: “Securing our first retail listing was a huge step in our journey, but it’s just the start. With more consumers embracing a plant-based diet, we’ve been able to capitalise on our strong proposition of being the world’s first oat-drink based alcohol brand. Finance remains a critical element of our expansion plans.”
Susan Nightingale, devolved nations director at the British Business Bank, added: “Panther M*lk is a great example of a unique business that’s taken advantage of an untapped market, and we wish Paul and his team every success as they continue to grow the brand. The Start Up Loans scheme was established to provide smaller businesses from every region and sector with the finance and support they need in order to thrive.”
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