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Four in ten West Midlands business owners want to grow their business but are unsure how.

The Hub News Team | 3.10.18 | Finance & Funding

Over half of West Midlands business owners expect to increase their income/turnover in the next financial year. Polling finds older business owners significantly less likely to be aware of alternative finance options than millennials.

Polling commissioned by British Business Bank, the UK government-owned economic development bank, has revealed four in ten (42%) smaller business owners in the West Midlands want to grow their businesses but are unsure on how best to achieve that growth – compared to a national average of 33%.

This is not due to lack of confidence or work ethic, with 57% of West Midlands SME owners expecting to increase turnover year-on-year and six in ten (60%) willing to work unsociable hours to help drive it, the highest of all regions surveyed and well above the national average of 51%. Often, smaller businesses want to grow but just don’t consider, or know of, the alternative finance options available to them.

The new polling reveals, for example, that regionally only 9% of businesses in the West Midlands have considered angel investment whilst only 13% have considered crowdfunding. 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 twenty (3%) 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:“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 £250 million alternative finance vehicle set-up by the British Business Bank to provide both debt and equity finance to small businesses across the Midlands.

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