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Majority of SMEs ‘Can’t Access Funding They Need to Grow’

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A majority of SMEs operating in the UK cannot find access to the financial support they need to grow and develop.

That’s according to the small business finance provider Liberis, whose research has found that 55 per cent of British SMEs can’t currently secure the growth funding they need or could significantly benefit from.

Liberis is keen to see SMEs across the UK given more backing in their pursuit of finance but also makes clear that business bosses themselves should also be doing more to identify and understand more about funding options that are potentially available to them.

The finance company has suggested that a relative lack of awareness among SMEs about the extent of their funding options is a major hindrance to their progress and long-term sustainability.

SMEs and their growth is widely understood to be a vitally important contributor to the economy but Liberis is concerned that opportunities to access funding are commonly going unnoticed by the bosses of many businesses.

The organisation’s figures suggest that 62 per cent of British SMEs feel that they need funding in order to grow but 57 per cent couldn’t say where they might turn to obtain that financial backing.

Meanwhile, a majority (53 per cent) said that although they feel their businesses need funding they couldn’t specify how much money they would ideally achieve access to.

“These findings have opened our eyes to a lack of confidence and awareness among SMEs in how to correctly secure the funding they so desperately need,” said Rob Straafhof, Liberis’ chief executive.

“Funding will continue to be a hot topic for the small business community, but urgent action and collaboration is crucial to prevent resulting damage to the UK economy.

“Without sufficient financial education and support, the UK’s business ambitions will be severely affected but by ensuring they have the correct financial understanding, we can help secure and strengthen their livelihood; fast-tracking their ambitions.” 

Alternative sources of funding beyond mainstream institutions like banks have become more commonly used by SMEs in recent years, with more and more small businesses accessing new forms of finance.

According to Liberis, around 10 per cent of British SMEs will consider turning to crowdsourcing as a means of raising funds over the course of the next two years.

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