"The feedback we hear from small businesses is that they're very optimistic about the future," confirms Jones, explaining, "They tend to have high customer loyalty because the goods and services that they're providing are very particular to that kind of customer."
Nevertheless, Jones is the first to admit that small businesses would welcome additional support, a driving factor in her decision to set up Enterprise Nation. "We do lots of things to encourage people starting businesses but critically to support them as they're growing as well," Jones comments.
Enterprise Nation's comprehensive list of services includes an online web portal, a publishing department producing eBooks, printed kits and guides, and an events division holding regular StartUp Saturday workshops, coming soon to new locations beyond the capital. "Enterprise nation is a small business community in its own right," states Jones, adding, "We have over 77,000 small businesses who we help start and grow for their own ventures."
The scheme alone, however, cannot be expected to solve all the issues facing SMEs in today's trying economic climate, and Jones accepts that most SMEs could benefit from assistance from other sources.
"The government is doing a good job in terms of encouraging start-ups," Jones is pleased to report. Looking towards the financial industry, though, she believes more could be done. "I think small businesses will have different expectations for their banks," asserts Jones. "Banks have traditionally been known for lending to small businesses but businesses now are looking for so much more than just money for their business; they're looking for associated support."
As a bank with the needs of SMEs at the its core, Aldermore also places a huge degree of value in advancing beyond basic credit products to improve conditions for UK small businesses. Not only are Aldermore's products regularly re-evaluated by seeking out feedback from British SMEs about the evolving challenges they face, they also come with a guarantee of personalised, dedicated service. To deliver this, experienced financial experts offer tailored advice and review the individual circumstances of each lending decision, instead of relying on an automated system to approve credit agreements.
Alongside more personalised service, Aldermore is also committed to remaining at the forefront of industry-wide initiatives to provide opportunities to smaller businesses. The Bank has already played a key role in the government's trailblazing Funding for Lending scheme, and will continue this push to shake up British Banking in 2013, looking to create fairer financial conditions for SMEs.
The content published on this website is intended to provide information only. The reader should seek advice from experts on the subject matter and independently verify the accuracy and relevance of any information provided here before relying upon it or using it for any reason. You can view our terms and conditions here.