71% of SMEs confident in raising finance, says survey on behalf of Platform Black

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A survey on behalf of Platform Black, the award-winning Alternative Finance company, has found that 71% of small businesses are now confident in their ability to raise finance.

The survey, compiled for Platform Black by IFF Research, talked to 500 managing directors, financial directors and owners of businesses with up to 250 employees and found that confidence is returning to the UK economy. More than 70 per cent of companies questioned said they are ‘very confident’ or ‘fairly confident’ in their ability to raise the finance they need over the next 12 months.

Louise Beaumont, co-founder of Platform Black, which has advanced more than £65 million to SMEs since its inception two years ago, commented on the figures: “This is great news for the UK economy and shows the perception of restricted access to finance is receding at last. We welcome the fact that access to finance is no longer placing a choke chain around SME growth and its prospects for the future.”

She added: “Interestingly, recent figures from the Bank of England for the last quarter show that net lending to SMEs by banks was down by £0.7 billion and yet the Alternative Finance market is growing significantly, with the peer-to-peer lending industry providing more than £1.5 billion to businesses by May this year*. Clearly, a significant proportion of new money is coming from alternative lenders rather than the banks showing that Alternative Finance is offering businesses a real choice for equity, loans and invoice finance – the bank is no longer the first, last and only port of call.”

The Platform Black survey also revealed that confidence did not particularly vary from sector to sector. Indeed, 73% of companies within the construction and manufacturing industries, 72% of companies within business services and 66% of companies within transport, retail and distribution sectors all said their confidence in their ability to raise funds was good.

What did affect business confidence, however, was company size in terms of employees and turnover. Business confidence was higher in medium businesses (50 to 249 employees) at 80%; six in ten of these medium businesses (62%) had a turnover of greater than £6.5 million. This is compared with micro businesses (1 to 9 employees) which had lower business confidence at 69%; three quarters of these micro businesses (75%) had a turnover of less than £632,000.

Platform Black, which was recently named ‘Alternative Commercial Lender of the Year’ at the Credit Today Awards, enables SMEs to select the invoices they want to finance and set the maximum price they are prepared to pay – investors then compete to drive down the cost of finance the SME pays. It empowers British businesses to control their own cashflow by turning invoices into working capital at a price they set or less.

Platform Black is a member of the Alternative Business Funding collaboration, which is consulting with the Government on how to improve access to finance for SMEs following the commitments made by George Osborne in the March 2014 Budget.


  • Platform Black offers an innovative platform where customers trade their invoices.
  • Platform Black offers a flexible service that allows businesses to raise money when they need it – at a price they set, or less. The service offers companies a straightforward way to release the money tied up in outstanding invoices back into the business.
  • Platform Black has advanced more than £65 million to UK businesses to date and it is providing access to £6m per month in new finance.
  • During 2013, over 850 auctions were held, with a 100% success rate.
  • Platform Black was founded by Louise Beaumont and Colin Levins in 2011.
  • In addition to Invoice Trading, Platform Black also offers Supply Chain Finance – which allows suppliers to auction company-validated invoices at attractive terms.


Established in 1965, IFF Research is one of the largest independent research companies in the UK. IFF conducts high quality strategic research for a wide range of private and public sector clients.

The IFF Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Omnibus conducts 500 interviews per quarter with MDs, FDs and owners of businesses employing between 0 and 249 employees.

The breakdown of companies contacted in the Omnibus is as follows: 100 sole traders; 150 micro businesses (1-9 employees); 150 small businesses (10-49 employees); and 100 medium (50-249 employees). More information can be obtained at http://www.smeomnibus.com/

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Angela Ward
The Marketing Eye
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Angela Ward