How would you use a 5 year Interest Free Loan of £5k-£100k?
your organisation might qualify
Scottish Digital Development Loan - Building a Digital Nation
Could your business benefit from an interest free loan of between £5k and £100k, with a max repayment period loan of 5yrs?
This money is a tremendous opportunity during such difficult times and goes to the heart of the Scottish Governments desire to see Scotland take its place as a Digital Nation.
The scheme most likely won’t be available forever – so the sooner you assess whether your business is eligible and apply the better.
Inspire are here to support you in providing a quote for your digital capability, digital capacity and/or digital skills project.
We are neither the loan providers or providing financial advice, we simply want to be your AGENTS of CHANGE and support your project delivery.
- Applicant businesses must be located in Scotland
- Must be trading a minimum of 6 months. (Applicant business must have been receiving sales income for at least 6 months)
- The purpose of the loan must be to improve digital capacity, digital capability or digital skills of your workforce
- Applicants must be over the age of 18
- Applicants must be a UK resident with the right to work in the UK
- All Industry sectors are eligible for consideration. The assessment will focus more on the contribution of the project to the fund objectives
- Businesses must meet the European* definition of an SME in relation to employees, balance sheet and turnover.
*European Definition The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro
Given the spirit of the funding is to cover the 3 points below then it follows that this is pretty much the same criteria as the previously hugely successful "Business Gateway Digital Scotland Voucher Scheme Digital Marketing Grant".
- Digital Capacity
- Digital Capability
- Digital Skills
The new scheme does say the following EXCLUSIONS DO APPLY:
- Routine hardware and software upgrades are generally considered ineligible. (They may be considered if forming part of a larger digital transformation project)
- Marketing costs are not considered eligible
- Businesses or projects involved in betting or gambling;
- Loans for the purchase of property for resale
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Hence this means you could use the funding for:
- Off-the-shelf Plugin Software (e.g. plugin extensions to have your website talk to Xero)
Product Type: Business Loan for Existing SME’s including Sole Traders, Partnerships and Social Enterprises
- Minimum Loan: £5,000
- Maximum Loan: £100,000
- Minimum Repayment Term: 3 Months
- Maximum Repayment Term: 60 Months
- Interest Rate: Fixed at 0%
- No Administration Fee
- No Penalties for Early Settlement
- Applications will not be progressed if applicants are subject to formal insolvency such as sequestration/bankruptcy.
- Applicants who have defaulted on existing debts may still be considered for the Digital Development Loan if they can demonstrate that they have maintained regular repayments for a minimum of 6 months.
- Applicants who have discharged Bankruptcies and Trust Deeds are eligible to apply after the discharge date.
- The money can be used to create a broad digital strategy for your business and with our years of experience in this area we can definitely help you with that. We can support you in the relevant areas on the “permitted use” list, from designing and building your new e-commerce website, developing a translation facility, writing bespoke software for specific requirements and promoting your business online via content marketing and social media management.
No, a business plan is not required, but the following must be provided:
- A summary of your company history and business activities (one page)
- A summary of the digital project (one page)
- Cash flow projections for 12 months
- Profit and loss balance sheet projections for 12 months
Applications are assessed on how much the project delivers on:
- Increased capability (faster production, higher quality work etc.)
- Increased capacity (e.g., ability to take on new work)
- Increased digital skill within the workforce
The Digital Development Loan Scheme is looking for as much detail as possible on how the fund will improve digital skills in the workplace, profit, turnover etc.
Providing greater detail allows them to identify dated milestones that you expect to achieve so they can measure progress.
Inspire recommend you use a high level of detail as this increases the speed and the likelihood of the approval of the application.
Examples of the types of expenditure that are likely to be accepted are:
- Training (does not have to be a recognised qualification)
- New digital processes to speed up production
- New digital processes which help to access new markets
- Use of a specialist to implement new systems
- New hardware or software which increases digital capacity and capability
Examples of expenditure likely to be rejected:
- Routine software or server replaces or upgrades
- Hardware and software considered normal for business activities
- Digital equipment not related to new digital processes
Typically the Digital Development Loan Scheme would give a decision within six weeks after receiving your application. Applications will take longer to process if they need to contact you for more information.
The application process has two stages:
- Business appraisal. This is based on your application form and business plan.
- Financial appraisal. This requires more information and documentation as well as discussion with the loan providers and SL business finance.
Yes. The application takes into account any, and all, existing commitments you may have.
As long as the business can provide evidence of over six months of trading, they are eligible.
No, employee costs are not eligible unless proven to be essential for the implementation of the new project.
No. The loan cannot be used for costs already incurred or used as additional finance for an already underway project.
Yes, charities and other not-for-profit companies are eligible as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria.
No. The Digital Development Loan Scheme does NOT MULTIPLE quotes for the full loan amount applied for, BUT it does REQUIRE ONE QUOTE.
The application process would consider situations like this on an individual basis.