- The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Capital Connections scheme offers business customers access to the best sources of alternative finance
- The Start Up Loans Company joins six leading alternative finance companies and is the only government-backed provider in the innovative partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland
- Line-up now includes The Start Up Loans Company, Seedrs, Funding Circle, Assetz Capital, iwoca, Together and the Royal Bank of Scotland Social & Community Capital
The Start Up Loans Company will join a handful of leading alternative finance firms in an exclusive partnership with a Royal Bank of Scotland scheme, designed to help businesses access alternative sources of finance.
Capital Connections helps SMEs access alternative sources of capital after being unable to secure traditional financial backing with no commission paid as a result of any referrals.
The Start Up Loans Company is the first government-backed finance provider to join Capital Connections. Since launching in 2012, the Start Up Loans Company has lent £318million to help more than 48,000 individuals fund their early-stage businesses, creating more than 56,000 jobs.
In Scotland, the Start Up Loans Company has provided more than £15million of funding to 2,500 business owners across the country.
Can you Escape?, an Edinburgh-based escape room, launched in November 2014 after founder Alastair Watson secured £6,500 of funding from the Start Up Loans Company. The interactive adventure game requires players to solve a series of puzzles using clues and hints to unlock the room within a certain period of time.
Alastair decided to launch the business after noticing a lack of adventure games available in the Edinburgh area. He approached the Start Up Loans Company to access the capital needed to launch the venture. After successfully securing funding, he used the Start Up Loan to install game equipment and assist with cash-flow in the early stages.
Since then, Can you Escape? has been named ‘the best performing small business’ by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, as well as receiving a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence. Alastair now employs six part-time members of staff to service the business.
Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “We are excited to announce that The Start Up Loans Company will be joining our Capital Connections programme. We are the biggest supporter of British businesses and in 2016 we lent almost £9bn to commercial companies and £1.6bn SMEs, an increase of 43% from the previous year.
“But it won’t always be possible for us to support all our customers with our own capital and it’s important that in these instances we do the right thing by helping them access other finance options. That’s why our Capital Connections programme is so important to supporting British businesses, enhancing their access to the borrowing which is essential for jobs and economic growth.”
Joanna Hill, Interim CEO of The Start Up Loans Company, said: “Start-ups often bring something fresh and innovative to an existing market, but they are often left at the back of the queue when it comes to accessing finance. By partnering with the Royal Bank of Scotland, we hope the Capital Connections programme gives budding business owners a second chance when they are unable to access traditional forms of finance.
“Since 2012, we’ve provided more than £15million to early-stage businesses across Scotland, with funding helping 2,500 business owners bring their start-up ideas to life. We’re looking forward to partnering with the Royal Bank of Scotland to give people a second opportunity to achieve their business goals.”