Growth Street, an alternative finance provider for UK SMEs, plans to inject £50m into growing businesses across Greater Manchester and the North West over the next 12 months.
Research commissioned by Growth Street, which canvassed opinion from more than 1000 businesses with more than 10 staff, has found that SMEs in Manchester might not be taking full advantage of opportunities in international markets, and could have greater awareness of the funding options available to help them grow.
According to Growth Street’s findings, fully 78% of respondents based in Manchester don’t export at all, either to the EU or elsewhere. Growth Street’s research also found that almost three quarters of respondents have never looked outside their bank for funding at all, and only 24% feel they have a “good” understanding of the alternative finance market.
Global market conditions are creating opportunities for growing UK businesses, and Greg Carter, Growth Street’s CEO, says that Growth Street’s flagship business lending product, GrowthLine, could provide a working capital solution for businesses looking to step up their exports.
Growth Street CEO Greg Carter commented: “Manchester and the North West is full of thriving, ambitious businesses. I hope that our planned £50m injection into the North West economy gives more SMEs the chance to deliver on their plans for growth.
“UK SMEs are working in uncertain times. To make things more complicated still, many firms we speak to feel misunderstood by traditional lenders. We believe that more than ever, businesses need access to flexible finance, which can help mitigate risk as well as let agile businesses seize new opportunities.
“At Growth Street, we’re on a mission to give businesses access to the finance they might need to grow. We can’t wait to get talking to ambitious SMEs in Greater Manchester and the North West.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “SMEs have a vital role to play in a flourishing city, and we welcome any initiative which will help these innovative businesses to expand, tap into new international markets and help support jobs and opportunities for Manchester people.”
Chris Fletcher, Director of Marketing and Campaigns, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, added:
“The announcement of this funding by Growth Street is a significant step forward for ambitious and growing SMEs across Greater Manchester and the wider North West.”
“It’s a real vote of confidence in businesses across the region and will be welcomed by a huge number of businesses. Flexible finance is a vital part of funding success for many businesses and this will make a significant impact.”