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National research reveals British entrepreneurs held back by diminishing lines of credit and an inability to reach out to the Bank of Mum and Dad

  • New research by Crowd-finders has found that 35% of entrepreneurial Britain would resort to personal savings if they were to start or grow a business – that equates to 18 million in the UK who would dip into their own bank account to fund a business
  • 28% of business-minded British adults would turn to banks and institutions, while the third most popular option was friends and family (15%)
  • When asked if friends and family had the financial means to support their venture, almost two-thirds (64%) said they would not
  • Nearly half (45%) would not even know where to turn for funding – meaning 23 million people across Britain are unsure of how to fund a business
  • Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are even more in the dark, with 52% of 18-34 year olds saying they would not know where to turn for business funding
  • It comes as research shows that since 2011 banks have withdrawn £5.7 million a day in small business overdrafts alone, cutting available credit by £8.4 billion at an estimated cost to the economy of £2.9 billion
  • The problem has become so acute that last month, the Government announced a Patient Capital Review to identify the barriers facing entrepreneurs held back by the increasing inaccessibility of growth capital

Over a third (35%) of entrepreneurial Britain said they would resort to their own personal savings when starting or growing a business, new research commissioned by crowdfunding specialist Crowdfinders has found. The second most popular option in the nationally representative survey of over 2,000 UK adults was banks and institutions (28%). Whereas, 15% – the equivalent of almost 8 million people across the UK – stated they would seek financial support from friends and family. Worryingly, however, almost two thirds (64%) of business-minded Britain said those close to them do not have the means to support their business venture.

The research revealed that huge numbers of Britons are in the dark about the funding options available to them, with a particularly worrying 52% of our next generation of entrepreneurs (those aged 18-34) saying they would not know where to turn for financial support if they were to start or grow a business. Coupled with the fact that 64% of UK adults cannot rely on financial support from friends and family, these are troubling findings for the future performance of the nation’s economy, which is heavily reliant on a growing collection of small and medium sized businesses.

Full body of statistics from Crowdfinders’ nationally representative survey below:

When asked “if you were to start or grow a business, where are you most likely to turn for the finance you need?” entrepreneurial Britain said:

  • Personal savings (35%)
  • Banks and institutions (28%)
  • Friends and family (15%)
  • The sale of other assets (cars, collectables, luxury items, etc.) (11%)
  • My existing job, my current business or my professional network (11%)
  • A mortgage or I would re-mortgage my property (9%)
  • Crowdfunding platforms (8%)
  • Credit cards (7%)
  • Bridging loans and specialist finance (6%)
  • P2P lending platforms (5%)
  • Venture capitalist and angel investment (5%)
  • Private equity investment (4%)

However, when asked about the funding avenues realistically available to them, the research revealed:

  • 64% do not have friends and family with the finances to support them if they were to start or grow a business
  • 63% do not feel they could even ask friends and family for financial backing
  • Nearly half (45%) would not know where to turn for funding
  • Over half (52%) of 18-34 year olds would not know where to go when starting or growing a business

Analysis by Funding Options has revealed that since 2011 banks have withdrawn £5.7 million a day in small business overdrafts alone, thereby cutting available credit by £8.4 billion at an estimated cost to the economy of £2.9 billion. The financial shortfall is having a profound impact on Britain’s SMEs, with RSA figures showing that over half of UK businesses are failing within the first five years as a result. This issue affecting UK SMEs has come into the spotlight recently with the announcement of the Patient Capital Review in Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement – the review seeks to identify the causes of the funding gap by partnering the insights of the Treasury and leading figures in the private equity industry.

Crowdfinders has launched a new pre-crowd investment platform to address this issue, democratise SME investment and give entrepreneurs the initial support they require to secure all-important growth finance through a crowdfunding raise. To raise further awareness around the alternative finance options available to business owners nationwide, the platform marks the second stage of Crowdfinders’ £100 million scale-up funding initiative Race to Scale.

By connecting entrepreneurs to investors as part of a £100 million funding drive launched to support British scale-ups, Crowdfinders has a plan to tackle the problem of declining bank lending.

Speaking about the research findings and the launch of the new platform, Luke Davis, Co-Founder of Crowdfinders, said:

“There has been a long-standing issue in the world of business that typically only entrepreneurs with deep pockets or wealthy friends and family can access the capital they need to start or scale-up their business. The alternative finance revolution was meant to democratise access to funding; however, more needs to be done to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors so they no longer have to rely on personal savings or the bank of mum and dad.

“Crowdfinders’ new pre-crowd investment platform aims to level the playing field by helping entrepreneurs generate the first 30% of a funding round via its own network of investors. Not only does this early momentum dramatically increase the chances of a funding round successfully reaching its target, but the pre-crowd platform also ensures entrepreneurs can access scale-up investment without needing a network of wealthy contacts to get a business off the ground.”