Scottish government searches for debt manager

The government is looking to fund SMEs after one of its non-departmental arms also announced its intention to set up a debt fund.

The Scottish government is looking for managers able to focus on debt and micro finance. According to a tender document, it is seeking up to six managers for a fund providing financing to small- and mid-sized businesses via its SME Holding Fund.

At least one of the chosen managers will focus on debt and at least one will focus on micro-financing, the document notes. At least one additional manager will focus on early-stage equity.

At this stage the Scottish government is looking to identify 12 managers to assess further. Among the criteria for potential managers is value for money, a solid track record, transparency and the ability to address financing gaps in the Scottish economy.

While the Scottish government searches for managers, one of its non-departmental bodies is also planning to launch a fund aiming to finance SMEs. Scottish Enterprise told PDI in February it planned on launching a fund this month to address a financing gap for Scottish SMEs.

Additionally, the British Business Bank has also looked to take steps in financing SMEs. Last month it announced it had raised £400 million ($496 million, €460 million) for a fund focusing on financing businesses in Northern England.

A spokesman for the Scottish government did not return calls seeking additional comment by time of publication.