External financing - should SMEs take the leap?
The UK’s rapidly expanding small business sector is something of a sleeping giant, with young companies in need of better access to finance to kick-start their growth.
Early-stage start-ups are reasonably well catered for in the funding stakes, but as they reach the development capital stage – with a viable, revenue- generating concept and a clear line of sight to profitability – business owners struggle to raise capital to fund business growth.
There are a number of reasons for this – a fear of debt, for example, or a reluctance to give up equity. Quite often, though, it is simply a lack of awareness of the range of available funding options that is holding them back.
However, if these businesses are to innovate, invest in workforce skills training or expand overseas, they will need funding. This apparent lack of financing ambition will result in fewer new products, a less skilled workforce, fewer international trade links and, ultimately, reduced growth.