Accessing finance

Unclear how to go about securing funding or investment to expand your business in the UK or overseas? Knowing where to start can be daunting, but we can help.

Making the right choice

Whether it’s funding and/or non-financial support you need, it’s essential that you identify the right finance for your business. We’ve got a team of experienced financial readiness experts who can help you secure funding from a range of sources including bank funding, equity funding, and grants.

We can help you:

  • Identify your growth funding requirements
  • Source and raise the right growth funding from the right funder
  • Prepare your business to successfully access these funds
  • Pitch to investors

Contact our financial readiness experts

Louise Provan, team leader investment management, Scottish Investment Bank
Gary Torbett, investment specialist, Scottish Investment Bank

Get expert advice

In the first of our financial readiness video guides, Finance options for your business, Gary Torbett, one of our investment specialists, talks you through the different types of finance that could be used to fund your business.

Other guides in the series will explain how to make your business ready for finance applications:

Access our full list of financial readiness guides

Got a question about accessing finance?

Contact our financial readiness experts

Financial readiness guides

Finance options for your business

Taking on debt vs raising capital through the sale of equity.

Raising equity finance

Risk, business plans, exit strategies and how to handle investors.

Becoming investor-ready

How to prepare your business to the point where equity investors would be willing to invest in it.

Securing equity investment

How do you approach and build a relationship with an investor?

Using your business plan to raise finance

What sections to include when preparing a business plan for raising finance.

Tax relief schemes for raising equity

Government schemes designed to encourage investment into early-stage businesses.

A guide to debt

How debt can work to fund your business.

Financial projections

How financial projections are created, and their role in business planning and raising finance.

How banks make lending decisions

Will my bank give me a loan? What banks consider when deciding whether to fund your business.

What are RSA and R&D grants?

A summary of the different types of grants available for business funding.

The legal process for receiving funding

Your application has been accepted, what happens next?

Finance for exports into the EU

The role of export finance and finance tips for selling into EU markets.

Managing risk when selling overseas

For a growing business selling into international markets, navigating export finance and payment methods can be challenging. 

From negotiating the risks of the supply chain to wondering whether the overseas customer will honour obligations – there are a number of financial hurdles on the way to gaining revenue. Questions often come up such as:

  • How do I assess and manage risk?
  • How do I cover exchange rate fluctuations?
  • How long will it take to be paid, and how?
  • Who is culpable when things go wrong?

How UK Export Finance can help

Whilst banks and commercial sector experts can advise, it’s important to remember that there’s a wealth of public sector advice and support available too.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) – the UK’s export credit agency – supports UK exporters by providing guarantees to banks to share in the risk of export working capital, performance bonds and letters of credit. 

UKEF supports a diverse range of sectors. It helps export both goods and services, with companies ranging from micro-businesses to multi-nationals. Initial consultations with your regional UKEF adviser are free.

UK Export Finance guidance on GOV.UK

Investing in business

Our investment specialists manage funds through the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB).

We can help your company identify appropriate sources of finance, engage with funders and secure the investment you need to grow your business.

UK and international investors we work with include, business angels, angel syndicates, venture capital groups and corporate investors.

Find out more about who we work with

Kerry Sharp, Director of Scottish Investment Bank (SIB)

We actively invest in high-growth businesses across Scotland

Our funds co-invest into Scottish small to medium businesses with high growth potential. We do this alongside private sector investors in an innovative shared-risk model, on equal terms. Investments start from £10,000, with total deal sizes of up £10 million.

Scottish Co-Investment Fund

Are you a Scottish start-up, early-stage or growing company seeking investment to develop products and/or markets? We can match fund accredited investment partners to support your growth plans.

Scottish Venture Fund

Seeking funding to develop products and/or markets? This flexible equity gap fund invests alongside private sector investors, offering equity funding from £10,000 up to £2 million.

Energy Investment Fund (EIF)

Need funds to accelerate your next energy project? We’re your go-to contact for loans and equity for community and commercial renewable and low carbon energy projects across Scotland.

Scottish-European Growth Co-Investment Programme

Get easier access to larger investments, skills, networks, supply chain and industry expertise.

Don't just take our word for it

Christian Kemp-Griffin is the CEO of CelluComp, a company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of sustainable materials

"Scottish Enterprise has been with us from the start, offering advice and guidance on the company’s formation, innovation and organisational support, as well as support to help us get ready to raise investment."

Read full success story

Dee Ward is the director of Allthings Ltd, a Dundee-based software company

"The financial readiness support was invaluable in laying the groundwork for the wider fundraising process."

Read full success story

Contact our finance experts

Our team is on hand to answer your questions and explain the support we can offer to help your business succeed.