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East Midlands Chamber News

East Midlands businesses don't know how to grow


Four out of ten East Midlands businesses want to grow but don't know how to do it, according to the British Business Bank.


A poll commissioned by the economic development bank, which is Government-owned, revealed that 39% of smaller business owners in the region want to grow their firms but are unsure how  – compared to a national average of 33%.


The poll results suggest this is not due to lack of confidence or work ethic, with 58% of East Midlands SME owners expecting to increase turnover year-on-year and nearly half (47%) willing to work unsociable hours to help drive business growth.


Often, smaller businesses want to grow but just don’t consider, or know of, the alternative finance options available to them.


The new poll reveals, for example, that within the East Midlands only three per cent of businesses have considered asset-based lending and only six per cent have considered Venture Capital.


Nationally, older business owners are significantly less likely to be aware of or to have used alternative growth finance options than their younger counterparts. One in five (19%) millennials (under-35s), for example, have considered crowdfunding, compared to fewer than one in 30 (3%) of over-35s.


The British Business Bank is committed to helping smaller business leaders understand and explore the full range of finance options available to them. That’s why the Bank has launched the Finance Hub – a new interactive website dedicated to providing independent information on finance options for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses.


Piers Linney, Non-Executive Director at British Business Bank, believes that businesses need to look beyond the high street to finance their growth.


He said: "Getting investment for your business does not have to be as scary as going into the Dragons’ Den. There are plenty of ways to get finance and access support – the challenge is knowing where to look, making the time to find out about them and getting investor ready.”


Keith Morgan, CEO of British Business Bank, said: “The financial landscape can be complex and confusing for smaller businesses trying to finance their growth ambitions. Today’s polling shows that too often smaller businesses want to grow but don’t know where to start meaning we miss out on their growth.


“Our Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information about the finance options for high-growth smaller businesses. Its Finance Finder tool helps these small, high-growth businesses understand their finance choices and identify the right finance for them to grow and succeed.”


The launch of the Finance Hub follows the introduction of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund earlier this year, a £250m alternative finance vehicle set-up by the British Business Bank to provide both debt and equity finance to small businesses across the Midlands.