One third of business owners unaware of alternative finance options

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More than half of SMEs expect to increase income or turnover in 2018-19, according to British Business Bank

One in three British SMEs want to grow their business but are unsure how, according to a new poll by British Business Bank.

Often, smaller businesses want to grow but do not consider, or know of, the alternative finance options available to them. The new polling reveals, for example, that only 5 per cent of businesses have considered angel investment whilst only 7 per cent have considered crowdfunding.

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 per cent) millennials (under-35s), for example, have considered crowdfunding, compared with fewer than one in 20 (3 per cent) over-35s.

The good news is that business confidence is high among those surveyed, with more than half (51 per cent) of business owners saying they expect to increase their income/turnover in the next financial year, with fewer than one in 10 (8 per cent) expecting their income/turnover to decrease.

Piers Linney, non-executive director at British Business Bank, believes that businesses need to look beyond the high street to finance their growth.

Linney said: “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, added: “The financial landscape can be complex and confusing for smaller businesses trying to finance their growth ambitions. Our polling shows that too often smaller businesses want to grow but don’t know where to start meaning we miss out on their growth.”

The British Business Ban, the UK government-owned economic development bank, recently launched a Finance Hub – a new website dedicated to providing independent information on finance options for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses.