Whisper It Quietly, More UK SMEs Use AltFi as Confidence Levels Rise

Whilst businesses’ frustration with UK government “for its inability to put forward clear positions” mounts, increasing disappointment of corporate leaders, British SMEs remain determined despite the potential impact of Brexit.

According to a recent by Birmingham-based Wesleyan Bank, UK SME owners are feeling positive about the future with just over half (54%) stating that they feel ‘more confident’ about their business’s prospects compared to a year ago with the younger business owners having the brightest outlook with 78% of those aged 18-29 and 62% of 30-44 year-olds admitting they are ‘more confident’ about the future.

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With greater access to funding and lower interest rates, more SMEs are exploring alternative finance as a growth accelerator, the survey suggests. (Picture by Sai De Silva)

However, while only 37% aged 45-59 and 32% over 60 say they feel the same way, according to the findings of the survey which reached out to more than 500 SMEs owners, there is a contrast in opinion when asked how investment would be affected by their view on Brexit.

In this scenario, British business owners are increasingly discovering alternative finance.  Indeed, the survey confirms UK business owners are looking beyond the traditional financing methods, having gained a wider understanding of how alternative finance solutions can aid their business.

In particular, regarding their knowledge of external funding options, 30% of UK SMEs report a ‘full’ understanding of equity finance compared to just 17% of respondents in 2016 whilst those with ‘zero’ knowledge has dropped from 38% in 2016 to 22% this year.

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Source: Heroes of Zeroes 2018, Wesleyan Bank

Looking forward, SME owners aged 30-44 are most likely to use equity finance (34%) and asset finance (33%) compared with owners aged 45-59 (10% and 9% respectively).

The findings also recognise that alternative finance can be more flexible and help a growing business. In fact, 29% see the value of access to finance as ‘vital’ or ‘intrinsic’ to success, up from 10% two years ago.

With greater access to funding and lower interest rates, more SMEs are exploring alternative finance as a growth accelerator and have a wider understanding of how it can benefit their business, the report concludes.

Find out more here.

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