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2014: Disruption from the UK alternative finance market

Days might be getting colder and darker as we head into December, but the outlook for SMEs continues to remain bright and sunny. The UK alternative finance industry report from Nesta and the University of Cambridge, released this month, revealed that the alternative finance market in the UK is expected to grow to £1.74 billion this year, as more SMEs use alternative lenders to fund growth. 

The report also stated that the UK alternative finance market would have provided over £1bn of growth and working capital to an estimated 7,180 SMEs by the end of 2014. These are fantastic stats, which show just how rapidly the industry is growing and the impact alternative finance providers are having on the way that SMEs operate. 

SMEs are in a unique position now, having far greater control over their finances, with easy access to much needed funding and advice, which they might not have been able to secure through traditional banks. The report supports this, revealing that 70 per cent of SME borrowers have seen their turnover grow since securing funding, with 63 per cent of them recording a growth in profit.

Reports such as these are extremely important to the alternative finance market, as it allows us to better understand the impact it is having on the economic recovery in the UK. It also raises awareness amongst business leaders that alternative approaches to accessing finance are having a positive effect and can be trusted to assist and support their business plans. 

This shake up in the finance industry shows no signs of slowing as we enter 2015, with the research predicting the UK alternative finance market will grow to £4.4 billion next year. These are exciting times for SMEs, whose businesses are flourishing in this thriving market.




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