Young EDGE Loans launched to give further boost to Scotland’s Youngest Entrepreneurs

Scotland’s foremost start-up business competition, the Scottish EDGE, today announced the launch of Young EDGE Loans, a new source of funding for Scotland’s youngest entrepreneurs and their start-up businesses. Offering loans of between £2,500 and £25,000, Young EDGE Loans are the Scottish EDGE’s first offering to use an application structure rather than a competition structure, and aim to fill the funding gap left by the closure of the Princes Trust’s Growth Fund in 2015.

With soft repayment terms, Young EDGE Loans are designed to give entrepreneurs flexibility and support in managing their businesses. Announcing the launch of Young EDGE Loans, Evelyn McDonald, CEO of the Scottish EDGE, said:

We recognise that small businesses often encounter the unexpected, so we’ve designed Young EDGE Loans to offer support during times of prosperity and uncertainty. Together with our partner organisations, our staff will ensure that young entrepreneurs have access to experience, guidance and mentorship throughout their loan term and beyond.

The first recipient of a Young EDGE Loan, Gregor Hannah of Hannah Whisky Merchants, spoke of the challenges he faced in obtaining funding and the support the Scottish EDGE had given him:

There are limited lending options from banks in Scotland for very small businesses, even if you have ambitious growth plans, and if you’re under twenty-five or not involved in the technology industry you will struggle to receive awards or loans from third parties. Young EDGE Loans are one of the only places a young entrepreneur can go to obtain funding or support. The support the team at the Scottish EDGE provide is exceptional – there is a genuine warmth and want for people and individuals to succeed.

Hannah Whisky Merchants received a loan of £20,000 which will be used to finish the company’s single malt bourbon casks with sherry and other styles to create very unique flavours, alongside other capital expenditure projects.

Open to all limited companies whose directors are aged eighteen to thirty, Young EDGE Loans are funded by the Hunter Foundation and Royal Bank of Scotland. Head of Entrepreneurship at the Royal Bank of Scotland and Scottish EDGE Board Member, Gordon Merrylees, noted the importance of supporting Scotland’s young entrepreneurs’ throughout their business’ development:

Here at the Royal Bank of Scotland, we’re delighted to support Young EDGE Loans, continuing our successful relationship with Scottish EDGE. We believe that the support offered by Scottish EDGE and their partner organisations has the potential to transform the success of small businesses and look forward to seeing Gregor’s business, and those of other applicants, achieve their growth ambitions in the years ahead.

In the months ahead, the Scottish EDGE hope to be able to offer loans to sole traders and partnerships.