Nearly a quarter of SMEs miss out on business opportunities due to lack of funding

POSTED: 10th April 2018
IN: Newsroom
  • 23% of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have missed at least one new business opportunity in the past 12 months due to a lack of available funding
  • Missed opportunities are costing the nation’s SMEs an average of £78,942 per year
  • Medium-sized businesses are worst hit with over two fifths (42%) having been significantly impacted by not having access to the funding they need

The latest Aldermore Future Attitudes report reveals that just under a quarter (23%) of  SMEs, representing 1.27million* small and medium sized businesses across the UK, are missing out on new business opportunities due to a lack of available funding a 4% increase on the previous year.

The report, which surveyed over a thousand business decision-makers across the UK, found that those impacted are losing out on income worth an average of £78,942 a year. This is an increase of £1,291 compared to 12 months ago (£77,651).

Medium-sized businesses – those with between 50 and 249 employees – are the worst hit, with over two fifths (42%) saying that they have been significantly impacted by not having access to the funding they need, up a third (32%) on last year. This amounts to an average impact on income of £110,960 per mid-sized organisation affected over the last 12 months.

Regionally, businesses based in the South West are losing out the most additional income due to missed business opportunities - £165,945 - on average annually. This is followed by those based in the West Midlands (£119,471 per year).

Average additional income losses by region following missed opportunities due to lack of available finance:


Average additional income missed per year

South West


West Midlands


East Midlands


South East




Looking at the main business concerns for UK SME leaders over the coming months, the topic of available funding is a common one. Just under a third (32%) say accessing appropriate funding and cash flow issues are their biggest business issues, with late payments also being the main worry for one in seven (15%) of SME bosses.

Carl D’Ammassa, Group Managing Director, Business Finance at Aldermore, said: “It is deeply concerning that, despite the ongoing Treasury Select Committee inquiry into sources of SME finance, the amount of businesses missing out on these opportunities has increased over the last twelve months. It is vital that lenders work closely with small and medium-sized companies to help them find solutions to their funding issues, ensuring new business opportunities are capitalised on.

“According to the Aldermore Future Attitudes data, achieving growth is the main business priority for nearly two fifths (39%) of UK SMEs, re-enforcing the importance for business owners to be able to evaluate different funding options in order to ensure that businesses can achieve future success.”                     


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Research conducted by Opinium Research between 20 and 26 February 2018 with a nationally representative sample size of 1,004 senior decision makers in SMEs.

* SMEs figure – calculated using Federation of Small Business statistics that say the UK has 5.5m SMEs (2016 figures). Aldermore Future Attitudes research showed that 23% of SMEs are missing out on new business opportunities due to the lack of available finance. 23% of 5.5m = 1.27m



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