The SME Finance Monitor 2019

19th September 2019

Today, the BVA BDRC published the SME Finance Monitor report for the year ending Q2 2019. The independent report analyses current trends in access to finance for SMEs and the state of the vital sector. The SME Finance Monitor surveys 4,500 businesses every quarter in the largest such survey in the UK, to analyse finance needs and growth trends.

Headline statistics

  • 80% of SMEs reported profitability
  • 36% of SMEs reported having grown in the last 12 months
  • 35% of SMEs reported innovative activity in the last 12 months
  • 40% have experienced sales growth
  • 9% of SMEs are exporting
  • 42% of SMEs use external finance

Of the SMEs interviewed, 11% of them have grown by over 20% in the last year, while reporting higher levels of innovation, international sales and desire to grow.

4% of SMEs are currently searching for finance, with 5.7million SMEs in the UK, this amounts to roughly 225,000 small businesses. Of these, around half are looking for growth finance leaving over 100,000 SMEs in the UK looking to access capital to facilitate growth.

This report serves as a barometer for the SME economy, which plays such a vital role in the UK, making up 98% of private sector businesses and 60% of employment. The ambition and growth potential of these businesses is almost unrivalled, and with almost a third having grown recently support for this must be seen as a key driver for the UK economy.

The significant growth seen by some SMEs seems to be driven by innovation and international scalability as well as confidence to take advantage of opportunities, which points to what the future of UK business could be; innovative, global and ambitious.

The UK is a world leader in technology and sector disruption, and it is vitally important that entrepreneurs can gain access to growth finance to make their ideas a reality. Alternative finance such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme has supported these innovators for 25 years and will be a vital part of their growth in future.