The Whiskey Chairmen, in Inverclyde, is one of 12 small businesses selected by Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank.
Starter Loans Ambassador for Scotland Rory MacDonald received a start-up loan of £ 13,000 through British Business Bank’s delivery partner Transmit in August 2018 providing tools, du equipment, rent and insurance to open The Whiskey Chairmen.
The social enterprise makes custom furniture from obsolete whiskey barrels, providing paid employment for life to the local community of Greenock.
MacDonald said, “I came out of the financial crisis which strained my personal finances and made it difficult to get credit when I decided to start my own business.
“Receiving support through the seed loan program was a crucial starting point for the creation of The Whiskey Chairmen and the creation of local jobs in Inverclyde.
“I wanted to become an ambassador for the program to spread our philosophy, change perceptions about social enterprises and demonstrate that companies can contribute to their communities in a positive way. “
The annual Start Up Loans Ambassadors program, now in its sixth year, celebrates business owners who followed the ambition to become their own boss after receiving support from the Start Up Loans program.
The Whiskey Chairmen is one of 5,673 Scotland-based companies that have received a loan since 2012, with a total value of over £ 47million.
Through a network of delivery partner organizations, the Starter Loan Program provides pre and post loan support to help applicants develop a business plan, a fixed interest loan of up to £ 25,000 to start or grow their business; and mentorship and other supports to help loan recipients with everything from cash flow to marketing.
2021/22 Starter Loan Ambassadors to be honored at a virtual event attended by Small Business Minister Paul Scully today; Catherine Lewis Le Torre, Managing Director of the British Business Bank; Start Up Loans CEO Richard Bearman; and delivery partners from each of the 12 UK regions and nations.
Scully said: “Start-up loans are an essential pillar in our efforts to improve all regions of the country and provide opportunities for dynamic and hardworking people, regardless of their background.
“From canned wine to woodwork, bridal wear to camel milk, this year’s Starter Loan Ambassadors reflect the incredible diversity and creativity of entrepreneurship across the UK and will spearhead of our mission to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business. ”
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