Small Business Finance Markets Report 2024

Report and publications 01 March 2024

Our annual Small Business Finance Markets report continues to provide a comprehensive and independent assessment of the funding landscape for smaller businesses.

In this landmark tenth report, we examine how small business finance markets have evolved over the last decade (2014-2023), since the Bank published its first report in 2014.

Smaller business debt and equity finance markets have substantially evolved with a greater number and range of finance providers than ever before, but issues remain in the availability of finance for specific areas and groups of people.

Key findings:

  1. The UK economy has experienced several economic shocks over the last decade, but finance providers, together with government support, have helped smaller businesses.
  2. The smaller business lending landscape has changed substantially over the last decade with a greater range of debt finance providers than ever before.
  3. UK equity finance markets have matured over the last decade, becoming deeper with a greater range of investors able to support companies at all stages of their development.
  4. There remain regional and place-based challenges in getting finance to many parts of the UK, particularly equity finance.
  5. Finance to female and Ethnic Minority businesses has changed little over the decade, but recent initiatives are beginning to raise awareness of the issues.
  6. More recently, there has been an increase in the flow of asset finance in 2023, but other types of external finance have fallen including bank lending and equity finance, but these remain high compared to historical levels.

Further details and insights can be found in this year’s report.

View the Small Business Finance Markets Report Infographic

British Business Bank 2023 SME Finance Survey

The Bank’s 2023 SME Finance Survey was undertaken by Ipsos and surveyed 1,723 small and medium businesses (i.e. enterprises with fewer than 250 employees) between September and December 2023. The survey covers awareness and use of different types of finance, innovation and smaller business awareness and attitudes towards Environmental, Social and Governance issues. Survey data was weighted to reflect UK SMEs from DBT business population estimates. Download the SME Finance Survey Report.

British Business Bank UK Network 2023 Intermediary Survey

The Bank’s Intermediary Survey 2023 was undertaken by the British Business Bank’s UK Network Team in October – December 2023 with 725 intermediaries who engage with smaller businesses in the UK. The survey covers core topics for UK smaller businesses including demand for and access to finance. View the 2023 Intermediary Survey.

Small Business Finance Markets 2023/24

Our Small Business Finance Markets 2022/23 report highlights the role of finance in driving innovation across the UK’s small business population and in supporting small businesses to provide solutions to achieve the UK’s net zero targets.

Small Business Finance Markets 2023/24 (PDF, 5 MB)Download the report (.pdf, 5.08mb)