A CBI report states that SMEs are the solution to the UK's flatlining economy.
Yet, SMEs need access to funding to fuel their growth ambitions - and traditional methods do not necessarily represent the right answer. The BCA provides workspace operators and suppliers with access to such findings as one of the benefits of BCA membership.
As a not-for-profit trade association, the BCA represents the flexible workspace industry and acts as a support network for flexible workspace operators, industry suppliers and their clients. The BCA is a member of various key business organisations - such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) - which enables us to access essential resources and distribute such key findings to our members.
The CBI has released a new report into alternative methods of funding, a topic which we recently explored in a blog post on non-bank finances, and as such we have been able to share the report with BCA members. As business owners and managers, and as an industry that directly serves Britain's SMEs, this report strikes a chord with BCA members in more ways than one.
Entitled 'Ripe for the Picking: A Guide to Alternative Sources of Finance', the report states that small and medium-sized businesses will enable the UK economy to move forwards and maximise the UK's growth potential. The CBI claims that high-growth medium-sized businesses could be worth an additional £20bn to the economy by 2020.
However to achieve such growth, SMEs require access to finance to enable them to fulfil their aspirations - and the CBI has found that a "new normal" is emerging whereby businesses will increasingly need to explore new, alternative finance methods. The report suggests that traditional forms of finance such as overdrafts and loans "will not be the solution for all businesses all of the time", and it expects a "much more diverse financing landscape" in the not too distant future.
From a flexible workspace perspective, at the BCA we are continually made aware of members' difficulties in raising finance through traditional sources, and the CBI's report suggests a brighter future for high-growth businesses - including many of our members - with the provision of such alternative funding solutions.
The report aims to raise awareness of alternative methods of finance and provides a detailed guide on such options, including:
• Asset based lending
• Online invoice trading platforms
• Supply chain finance
• Trade finance
• Peer-to-peer and crowd-funding
• Retail bond market
• Self-issued retail bonds
• Private placements
• Business Angels
• Venture Capital
• Corporate venturing
• Business Growth Fund
• Private equity
• Public equity markets
We have circulated the report to BCA members by way of raising awareness of these alternative forms of finance, which may also be appropriate for your own clients' use. We are committed to the welfare and growth prospects of our members and the provision of key information such as this, when available, is just one of the many different advantages of BCA membership.