Exploring the success and barriers to SME access to finance and its potential role in achieving growth


The Enterprise Research Centre has published a study exploring access to finance issues for SMEs, led by the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) at Middlesex University Business School, working with SQW and the University of East Anglia's Norwich Business School.

The research examined Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS) 2015 data to explore supply and demand side issues on access to finance. This covered the types of SMEs seeking external finance, their reasons for doing so and the types of finance sought. It also explored SMEs which were successful, unsuccessful or discouraged in applying for external finance, the reasons for this and how this impacts future growth.

We tested the findings from the analysis of LSBS data through consultations with selected practitioners from SQW's sister firm, Oxford Innovation, who provide finance advice to high growth and innovation focused SMEs. This helped to test the data with practice. The research adds to the current evidence base and provides key policy implications to deliver more effective business growth.

The main outputs were a Paper of the key findings, along with an Executive Summary and Policy Briefing, available to download below.