DSL Business Finance Ltd recently engaged with a Study Visit representing 15 Credit Guarantee Corporations of Japan (CGCs). CGCs are public institutions that provide guarantees to financial institutions who lend to SMEs. There are 51 CGCs in Japan, one for each of the 47 prefectures and one each in the 4 large cities. At the end of 2018, their total liabilities stood at approximately 21 trillion yen (£154b). The delegates were senior managers who are directly involved in the credit guarantee system of CGCs.
The purpose of the visit was to study three aspects of the credit guarantee system in the UK public sector:
- The current support afforded to lenders by the credit guarantee system and future prospects in Scotland and U.K.
- Challenges faced by SMEs in cultivating new businesses and effective use of existing management resources for that.
- The enhancement of the support systems for those wishing to start-up and grow businesses.
Fund Manager, Sandra McLean and Project Manager, Mujeeb Ur-Rehman delivered a detailed presentation to the delegation. This covered an introduction to DSL, public sector support available to SMEs in the UK and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme operated by the British Business Bank. Hasashi Kuboyama from the Federation of Small Business also shared how the FSB supports and promotes SMEs in Scotland. There was a very interactive Q & A which demonstrated the relevance of the presentation and also the interest of the delegation in the UK’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme.
The following day, the delegation visited one of DSL’s EFG loan recipient clients – Aqua Pac Ltd – http://www.aqua-pac.co.uk/. Based in Cumbernauld, Aquapac Ltd is a furniture manufacturing company specialising in flat pack bespoke furniture having diversified to this form their original speciality of aquariums and other pet furniture i.e. reptile cabinets.
Managing Director, Stephen Connachan, made a detailed presentation to the delegation which was followed by a tour to the state-of-the-art design unit and the factory floor. Mr Satoru Ikegami, Director, CGS Tokyo, thanked DSL and Aqua Pac for sharing of experience with the delegation and that it had been a very worthwhile engagement.