A fear of the future is holding back innovation among small businesses
Refused a bank loan? These small businesses accessed finance through the Bank Referral Scheme Initially launched in November 2016, the Bank Referral Scheme was designed to help small business owners access finance if bank lenders were unable to offer what they needed. __________________________________________________________________________________ However, fewer SMEs have been innovative with the proportion which have either significantly improved an area of the business and/or introduced a new product/service declining from 40% in 2012 to 32% in 2018.
Two-thirds said their business was recognisably the same as three years ago.The 26% of SMEs that said their business had developed quite a bit in the last three years were more likely to have been innovative, and to be planning to grow. The remaining 11% of SMEs said their business had retrenched back to its core business. ‘sMEs are showing some signs of caution in the face of an uncertain future, said Shiona Davies, director at BVA BDRC. “Demand for finance remains limited but there is no single reason for this. It is likely to be a combination of confidence, attitudes to finance, the availability of other funding such as trade credit and other factors including awareness of finance options available. it is also difficult to say with certainty what the impact of this might be on business performance, but levels of innovation have declined over time.