Solving the SME finance puzzle: an examination of demand and supply failure in the UK

Robyn Owen, Tiago Botelho, Javed Hussain, Osman Anwar

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Following economic instability after the Global Financial Crisis, the financing of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth and productivity has become central to UK government policy for sustainable economic development, evidenced by the establishment of the British Business Bank and Regional Investment Funds. This paper considers demand-side and supply-side failures in the contemporary UK SME finance market. Adopting mixed methods, binary logit regression analysis of the 2015 UK Small Business Survey of 15,502 SMEs is sense-checked using qualitative participatory findings from 6 SME finance support advisors.
Findings confirm the importance of SME size, age, management capability and use of appropriate, timely external advice. They support the resource-based view of SME access to finance, contributing to borrower discouragement and under investment, suggesting the need for improved support to upskill entrepreneurs’ financial management and investment readiness and the concept of an ‘holistic entrepreneurial finance ecosystem’ approach to assist UK SME finance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-63
Number of pages33
JournalVenture Capital
Issue number1
Early online date25 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • SMEs
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Finance escalator
  • Ecosystem
  • Demand
  • Supply
  • Policy

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