Listen to what some of our clients had to say about their experience of taking the leap with us and how their loans have transformed their businesses.

Baile Estate Agents, Hamilton

Having worked together previously for over 15 years at Lloyds Banking Group, Gayle Adnyana and Sandra Hill had always dreamt of opening their own business so they decided to set up Baile Estate Agents.

“SMF has played a huge part in our journey, if it wasn’t for them Baile wouldn’t be in existence today. Our SMF investment readiness officer, Nicola, was amazing from start to finish. She came out to our office, talked us through the whole process and kept in contact with us on regular basis.

“We’ve been open for six months now, and without the funding from SMF we wouldn’t have be able to continue our marketing which is crucial for ensuring we’re on the right websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove. In the future, we hope to gain more of the market share in the local area, get our name out to more people and really want to use this as a springboard to take us into the next year and beyond”.

Wellwood Guest House, Pitlochry

In November 2015, Peter Mather and his wife bought The Wellwood Guest House in Pitlochry at a time when it was a tired business suffering from a lack of investment. The pair had spent seven months renovating the guest house themselves, but approached DSL for the final funding injection to complete the renovations which would allow them to open.

“Without the funding from the Scottish Microfinance Fund, we wouldn’t have been able to get the business off the ground as easily as we have. We didn’t have to put down a large initial deposit and the loan is flexible for up to five years which allows us to pay it off without penalty. The advice and guidance was excellent from start to finish. We were interviewed by a panel in Glasgow over Skype which was very convenient for us and showed great customer focus.

“Thanks to the SMF, the repair works to the roof meant that we were able to complete the renovations on two of the bedrooms and let those out earlier than planned. The future of The Wellwood Guesthouse is to build on that success. We opened on February 1st 2017 and already have a lot of bookings in for the rest of the year”.

Café Bellina, Edinburgh

We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from our client, Café Bellina. Nadia Di Vaio runs Café Bellina in Edinburgh with her brother Luigi and business partner Natalie Ferguson, and has benefited from funding to get the business off the ground. She believes that fair and accessible microfinancing is crucial to giving small businesses the funding boost they need: “At Café Bellina, our first goal is to make people feel at home while tasting our homemade Italian specialities but finding the finance to open a cafe hasn’t been easy. One bank completely ignored our request for a loan and a second one refused our application. Thanks to Business Gateway, we were referred to DSL Business Finance which runs the Scottish Microfinance Fund. We met with Nicola, a loan officer in Glasgow, who helped us develop our business plan.

“It’s great that the Scottish Microfinance Fund will provide emerging entrepreneurs who may not be able to access traditional finance the chance to follow their dreams. It really made a difference to Café Bellina and Nicola still follows our progress as a business mentor”.