UK SMEs struggling with cash flow and skills shortage

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Uk

Ninety per cent of UK SMEs reported experiencing negative business outcomes in the current economic climate
Ninety per cent of UK SMEs reported experiencing negative business outcomes in the current economic climate
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK have identified a lack access to growth capital and skills shortages as the biggest factors affecting their businesses over the past two years, according to new research. 

The research, compiled by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), found that concerns about skills shortages were expressed almost entirely by those in the UK compared with those in other countries.

Cash-flow problems were also flagged up by the UK’s SMEs, who were almost twice as likely to cite securing late payment as a problem than larger businesses. Despite SMEs across the globe reporting greater access to growth capital, small businesses in the UK did not see much improvement.

Cash flow and access to finance difficulties are not new to SMEs, especially during what is a very fragile time of recovery for the smaller end of the business spectrum,” said Rosana Mirkovic, ACCA’s head of SME Policy. “However, our global analysis revealed trends that are very specific to the UK SMEs, most notably a skills shortage.”

Read the full report here.

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1 comment

Alternative lending applications have increased in response to cash flow issues

Posted by Boost Capital,

An interesting read, thanks for the article. Government data backs up the ACCA research, showing that among those seeking finance, 51% of small businesses experienced difficulties in accessing this finance from the first source approached.

In addition recent figures from the Bank of England showed that lending to SMEs within the hospitality sector saw an annual drop in lending of -5.4%.

This is one of the reasons we have seen both the volume of enquiries and funded loans within the hospitality sector increase ahead of the average SME trend over the last six months

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