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How to turn SME confidence into SME growth

A new CBI survey has shown that SME optimism has improved in the last three months. But how do we turn this confidence into growth? The answer is alternative finance.

The rise of alternative finance in recent years has been spectacular – the crowdfunding sector is growing at over 400% per year, invoice finance use has reached record levels and peer-to-peer lending in the UK stands at over £3 billion – but there needs to be more, and raising awareness of these services is a key part of the growth stage.

The government is embracing alternative finance to a degree, such as through the British Business Bank, and so are traditional banks, some of which are recommending alternative finance providers to SMEs that fail their lending criteria. However, this promotion needs more impetus if small business owners are going to benefit from the full range of lending options available to them and the much-highlighted optimism is to be turned into cold, hard growth.

The announcement of the UK’s first ever small business funding exhibition, the Business Funding Show (BFS), demonstrates that this goal is being worked towards. The exhibition will take place in London in February 2016 and its aim is to connect entrepreneurs and small businesses with key finance providers. The event has been backed by Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed.

This is good news and the BFS will hopefully act as a catalyst for other initiatives to promote the availability of alternative finance services. This step is hugely important for the UK because the continued development of the sector means stronger SMEs and stronger economic growth.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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