Last year saw a major improvement in access to finance for SMEs, according to new analysis from independent venture capital investor Albion Ventures.
Its new study, The Albion Growth Report, shows that almost half (44%) of small and medium-sized firms applying for development finance over the past year were successful, up from 27% in 2014. Of those who secured fiance, nearly a third (29%) did so to invest in new equipment, with 26% using the money to develop new products and services. Only one in ten (10%) sought finance to invest in R&D.
Bank loans and overdrafts have continued to fall in popularity, down to 49% in 2015 from 76% in 2013, while the popularity of third party equity or other long-term finance has soared from 6% in 2013 to 34% in 2015.
Nearly one in five (18%) SMEs said they were affected by a lack of access to finance, rising to a third (32%) among firms with a turnover of between £500k–£1m.