Business bodies target 1m UK businesses with new British Business Bank/ ICAEW-led finance guide

Press release 14 June 2016

With thousands of British start-ups and SMEs turning to online platforms to raise finance, a coalition of major UK business organisations have launched a new digital guide on different sources of investment and professional advice. Led by ICAEW and the British Business Bank, 23 bodies have contributed to the new Business Finance Guide – a journey from start-up to growth. They aim to reach the inbox of one million businesses of all sizes in the UK. builds on the success of a 2014 version that reached three quarters of a million companies, entrepreneurs, investors and advisers.

How businesses seek finance today:

  • SMEs are still most likely to go only to their main bank when seeking finance, despite a steady increase in alternatives. Three out of five SMEs only contact one provider when seeking finance.
  • Recent research by Amicus Finance showed increasing frustration amongst SMEs with high-street banks, with 16 per cent of 400 SME business owners turned down by a mainstream lender, up from 11 per cent in 2015.
  • 31 per cent said their inability to secure finance terms with traditional lenders has led to a lost deal or investment opportunity.
  • But the use of equity finance is on the rise. Research by the British Business Bank shows that 2015 was a strong year, with deals numbers increasing by 5% from 2014 to 1,270 and total investment value increasing by 58% to £3.5bn.
Businesses need certainty and that also applies to when they are raising finance. We want businesses to come out of the dark and have their most powerful tool to grow – information and advice. With businesses expected to grow investment by 2.3%* in the next 12 months, getting the right advice is crucial especially as the landscape and sources of finances has changed so significantly. The guide, which has already reached over 750,000 entrepreneurs, enables businesses and their advisors to find out more about the options available to them to meet their specific needs. Michael Izza Chief Executive, ICAEW
A growing number of finance options have become more established, mainstream and accessible to smaller businesses over recent years, and building their awareness and understanding of those options is a key aim for the British Business Bank. “That’s why we are delighted to be publishing this new edition of the Business Finance Guide, both in hardcopy and digital versions. We view it as an essential starting point for businesses in finding the most suitable finance for their circumstances and plans to enable them to grow and thrive. Keith Morgan Chief Executive of the British Business Bank

The guide focuses on the market as a whole, offering tools and guidance to help businesses weigh-up their options, make decisions and plan how they will finance expansion. It features video content from finance experts on how to seek different types of finance. Businesses are encouraged to seek professional advice appropriate for their size, type, structure and corporate finance requirements.

* ICAEW Q2 2016 Business Confidence Monitor

Further Information

Notes to editors

  1. The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, enabling the sector to prosper, grow and build economic activity. Its objectives are to:

    • increase the supply of finance available to smaller businesses where markets don’t work well
    • create a more diverse and vibrant finance market for smaller businesses, with a greater choice of options and providers
    • build confidence in the market by increasing smaller businesses’ understanding of the options available to them
    • achieve this whilst managing taxpayer resources efficiently and within a robust risk management framework. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government.

    The British Business Bank operates through a number of subsidiaries. Neither British Business Bank plc nor its principal operating subsidiaries are authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.

  2. The Business Finance Guide is published by the ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty and the British Business Bank. The partner organisations are:
    • Asset Based Finance Association
    • British Bankers Association
    • British Chamber of Commerce
    • British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
    • CBI
    • Chartered Institute of Credit Management
    • EEF
    • Enterprise Nation
    • Federation of Small Businesses
    • Finance & Leasing Association
    • Forum of Private Business
    • Innovate UK
    • Institute of Directors
    • London Stock Exchange
    • National Enterprise Network
    • Peer to Peer Finance Association
    • Quoted Companies Alliance
    • Responsible Finance
    • UK Business Angels Association
    • UK Crowdfunding Association
    • UK Export Finance.
  3. ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 145,000 chartered accountants worldwide. We provide qualifications and professional development, share our knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.
  4. The ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty’s professional network includes 7,000 members and more than 80 member organisations. Its membership is drawn from major professional services groups, specialist advisory firms, companies, banks, private equity, venture capital, law firms, brokers, consultants, policy-makers and academic experts.
  5. As leaders in accountancy, finance and business our members have the knowledge, skills and commitment to maintain the highest professional standards and integrity. Together we contribute to the success of individuals, organisations, communities and economies around the world. ICAEW is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.