SMEs: Eight out of 10 struggle to access funding for growth

According to the latest research, 80 per cent of UK small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling to access funding to grow their business.

The researched was commissioned by the conference call provider PowWowNow and found that 73 per cent of SMEs in the UK are looking for funding for growth, but eight out of 10 of these are struggling to access the necessary finance to facilitate their growth.

The study found that the main barrier to finance is the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with one-third of firms citing this as the main factor preventing them from accessing funding. This was closely following by a lack of finance options, with 23 per cent stating this was a significant factor, while 21 per cent said that they didn’t know how to access capital.

The retail, leisure and catering sectors find it particularly difficult to access funding to facilitate growth, with 94 per cent of SMEs in these sectors struggling to find the finance to aid the development of their business.

Andrew Johnson, Financial Director at PowWowNow, said: “That many SMEs are struggling to acquire the capital needed to scale is unsurprising thanks to years of uncertainty around Brexit. 

“However, the research also shows UK businesses are demonstrating a keen appetite for growth. If the economy is to come out stronger in the aftermath of Brexit, we must ensure SMEs have easier access to the finance they need to scale. The UK has a long-standing reputation for innovation, and we have regularly been one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business- long may that continue.”