The Investment Fund for Scotland has agreed £5 million of deals to support the growth of small businesses following its launch six months ago by the government-owned British Business Bank.

The milestone comes as five new debt funding deals have been agreed with firms in the drinks, healthcare, recruitment, and creative industries. They include cosmetic surgery group Elanic Clinic, oat milk cocktail brand Panther M*lk, life sciences recruitment firm Entrust Resource Solutions, graphic design consultancy John Young Group, and an unnamed whisky labelling business.

The five firms have collectively secured £3.25m of loans from the fund, whose larger debt deals of between £100,000 and £2m are managed by investment services specialist FSE Group. Smaller loans are organised by DSL Business Finance, and equity investments of up to £5m are managed by Glasgow-based Maven Capital Partners.

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“We are pleased to announce our first deals completed from the Investment Fund for Scotland," FSE Group's Norrie Cook said.

"Since the fund launched our team have been inundated with enquiries from businesses across Scotland varying in size, sector, funding requirements and background. We are already seeing how hugely beneficial this fund is for the Scottish SME landscape and encourage businesses seeking finance to reach out to our team directly.”

The Investment Fund for Scotland was launched in October 2023 with the aim of fostering sustainable growth among smaller Scottish businesses. It completed its first equity deals earlier this year med-tech firms Carcinotech and Calcivis, while Kedras Clinics benefitted from the first loan from the fund via DSL Business Finance.

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“It is great to see the impact that the Investment Fund for Scotland has delivered for smaller businesses across a diverse mix of sectors in only six months," said Mark Sterritt, director of nations and regions at the British Business Bank.

"The latest loans via FSE Group bring us to a milestone £5m, which is helping several businesses to achieve ambitions for growth and expansion. The fund was established to support new and growing businesses with investment strategies that best meet their needs, whoever they are and wherever they are based.”