Polling commissioned by British Business Bank, the UK government-owned economic development bank, has revealed four in ten (39%) smaller business owners in the East Midlands want to grow their businesses but are unsure on how best to achieve that growth – compared to a national average of 33%.
The polling results suggest this is not due to lack of confidence or work ethic, with 58% of East Midlands SME owners expecting to increase turnover year-on-year and nearly half (47%) willing to work unsociable hours to help drive business growth.
Often, smaller businesses want to grow but just don’t consider, or know of, the alternative finance options available to them. The new polling reveals, for example, that regionally within the East Midlands only 3% of businesses have considered asset-based lending whilst only 6% have considered Venture Capital.
Nationally, older business owners are significantly less likely to be aware of or to have used alternative growth finance options than their younger counterparts. One in five (19%) millennials (under-35s), for example, have considered crowdfunding, compared to fewer than one in twenty (3%) over-35s.
Piers Linney, Non-Executive Director at British Business Bank, believes that businesses need to look beyond the high street to finance their growth: “Getting investment for your business does not have to be as scary as going into the Dragons’ Den. There are plenty of ways to get finance and access support – the challenge is knowing where to look, making the time to find out about them and getting investor ready.”
Keith Morgan, CEO of British Business Bank said: “The financial landscape can be complex and confusing for smaller businesses trying to finance their growth ambitions. Today’s polling shows that too often smaller businesses want to grow but don’t know where to start meaning we miss out on their growth.
“Our Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information about the finance options for high-growth smaller businesses. Its Finance Finder tool helps these small, high-growth businesses understand their finance choices and identify the right finance for them to grow and succeed.”