Why it is important: When we make better information available to smaller businesses, we help them make better choices about finance. Being more aware of and having more confidence in their options means they are more likely to invest in their business.
Successfully delivering our first two objectives – increasing and diversifying finance sources – helps us improve the supply side of finance markets for smaller businesses. Improving the demand side requires increased levels of awareness and understanding to enable small businesses to make informed choices.
We measure awareness of different finance options through our annual survey, looking at the average awareness amongst SMEs across six different finance products. This was 50% in our November 2016 survey, a 2% improvement from the previous year.
To help raise awareness of finance options, we publish our Business Finance Guide jointly with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Corporate Finance Facility in England and Wales (ICAEW) with contributions from a further 21 partner organisations. The guide is well received amongst small businesses and their advisors, and its value was underscored in the BEIS Select Committee’s October 2016 Access to Finance report.