Lack of available funding holds back a fifth of UK SMEs

POSTED: 5th August 2019
IN: Newsroom
  • 19% of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have missed a new opportunity in the past 12 months due to a lack of available funding
  • Missed opportunities are costing the nation’s SMEs an average of £76,888 each year
  • SMEs say cash flow is one of their biggest business concerns over the next 12 months

The latest Aldermore Future Attitudes study1 reveals that nearly a fifth (19%) of UK SMEs have missed a new opportunity in the past 12 months due to a lack of available funding. Medium-sized businesses2 are worst hit, with over a quarter (28%) saying they have been affected.

The report, which surveyed over a thousand business decision-makers across the UK, found that those impacted are missing out on income worth an average of £76,888 each year.

Regionally, businesses based in London are losing out on the most additional income due to missed business opportunities, £135,791 on average annually. This is followed by those based in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (£67,380 per year) 3.

Lack of funding poses problems for those SMEs focusing on scaling up. Achieving growth is the top business objective for almost two fifths (37%) of SMEs, while almost a quarter (24%) are prioritising developing and expanding their products and services. Additionally, just over a fifth (21%) are concentrating on expanding in the UK.   

Furthermore, business owners are apprehensive about not being able to innovate and grow. A quarter (25%) of SMEs state that cash flow is their biggest business concern over the next 12 months. Moreover, one in 10 (12%) feel keeping up with new technology is their main worry, while a sixth (15%) are anxious about attracting, retaining or upskilling staff.

Tim Boag, Group Managing Director, Business Finance at Aldermore, said: “It’s concerning to see that almost a fifth of SMEs are missing out on opportunities as a result of financing issues. Small businesses need adequate cash to innovate, grow and keep up to date with the latest developments.   

“That’s why it’s important that lenders understand and are responsive to the needs of SMEs.  By providing specific solutions in a timely way, which meet business needs, we can start to address this problem and ensure SMEs - the lifeblood of our economy - continue to thrive in uncertain times.”


For further information, journalists can contact:

Carmel McCarthy, Aldermore
Phone:            020 3553 4216
Mobile:            07464 644754

Twitter:          @aldermorenews

Notes to Editors:

1 Research conducted by Opinium Research between 05 and 11 March 2019 with a nationally representative sample size of 1,009 senior decision makers in UK SMEs

2 Businesses with between 50 and 249 employees

3 Base sizes in these regions are 39 and 25 respectively

For further information about Aldermore, please review our Notes to Editors page.



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