The alternative finance market – growing a staggering 84% to £3.2 billion in 2015 – helped to finance 254,721 businesses, individuals, projects and not-for-profits last year. It has opened up the world of SME investment, which was once reserved exclusively for banks, hedge funds, VCs and angels, to the masses. In doing so it has helped empower investors eager to back the UK’s 5.5 million SMEs. However, despite making SME investment far more accessible and creating additional opportunities for British business owners, is the alternative finance industry really, truly democratic for entrepreneurs and are they even aware of their available options?
Despite the new funding avenues available to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, research statistics from December 2015 would suggest that business owners still find access to finance a major hurdle. The Institute of Directors (IoD) found that 40% of entrepreneurs said difficulties in gaining finance had prevented their company from growing and that many needed to rely on help from their mates and the bank of mum and dad.
So, to gauge whether our next generation of business owners would still feel the need to ask their friends and family for a helping hand, Crowdfinders conducted a new in-depth survey of over 2,000 entrepreneurial UK adults. We asked them where they would turn for financial support if they were to start or grow a business, with the aim to discover what routes to funding they would explore and whether they would rely on institutions; lean on their personal networks; or turn to the crowd to take their business to the next level.
Together with our sister company IW Capital, we have assimilated the findings of this independent research into a report that delves into the true state of business funding in Britain. The report is available through Access 42, an exclusive investor network that provides industry leading reports and exciting SME investment opportunities. So be sure to take two minutes to sign-up to Access 42 for free today and read the study in full!