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Access to finance

United Kingdom

				United Kingdom


According to the Small Business Act (SBA) Fact Sheets, the United Kingdom boasts a very competitive environment for SMEs compared to other EU Member States. This has enabled UK SMEs to maintain a high level of employment throughout the crisis, although the number of SMEs and value-added has fallen since 2008.The outlook for 2014 is positive with increases expected in the number of SMEs, employment and value-added and with the ICT sector (information and communication) being a major driver. In many SBA policy areas, such as second chance, the environment, public procurement and state aid as well as internationalisation, the United Kingdom scores well above the EU average. The United Kingdom is traditionally an EU frontrunner in terms of its business environment and put many measures in place to improve the environment for SMEs long before other Member States. Therefore, it can afford to take a more targeted approach with policy measures concentrated in a selected number of SBA areas, especially access to finance. Despite the United Kingdom’s well developed financial industry, SMEs in the UK continue to struggle to get proper access to loan and credit financing. The measures announced in 2012, in particular the new ‘business bank’, aim to address this problem head on.

Key indicators on access to finance
SMAF gif - 19 KB [19 KB]

United Kingdom ranked 14th out of 27 countries in the 2012 SMAF Index.

For details on SMAF index and methodology please click here.

Download data excel12book - 593 KB [593 KB]

Loans gif - 37 KB [37 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using ECB data

Note: Loan volumes and interest rate data for 2013 are to the period September 2013 only (due to data availability as at November 2013).

Download data excel12book - 69 KB [69 KB]

Venture capital
Venture capital gif - 38 KB [38 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using EVCA data

Download data excel12book - 69 KB [69 KB]

Business angels finance
Business angels gif - 31 KB [31 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using EBAN data (*comparable data for 2011 were not accessible)

Download data excel12book - 29 KB [29 KB]



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