The British Business Bank 2018 Business Finance Survey

The 2018 Business Finance Survey among SMEs, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the British Business Bank.

The author(s)

  • Rebecca Klahr Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Helen Motha Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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This survey, undertaken by Ipsos MORI for the British Business Bank, follows on from the previous “SME Journey” surveys from 2012 to 2017 to explore SME awareness of different types of external finance and their experience of raising finance.

It feeds into the British Business Bank’s 2018/19 Small Business Finance Markets report to assess how finance markets have changed.

The survey includes new data on the awareness and use of finance by smaller businesses, as well as information on the growth plans of those businesses.

The survey finds that awareness of finance options outside of traditional lending continued to grow in 2018:

  • 52% of smaller businesses aware of peer-to-peer lending (up from 47% in 2017)
  • 70% are aware of crowdfunding platforms (up from 60% in 2017)
  • 69% aware of venture capital (62% in 2017)

The survey, conducted in the autumn of 2018, includes new questions on  export activity, the impact of late payments and length of loan tenor periods. Finally, the survey results highlight that  one in three smaller businesses expect access to equity finance to become more difficult following the UK’s departure from the European Union. Despite this, over a third of business expect to grow over the next 12 months.

Technical Note

  • 2,000 CATI interviews conducted between 21st August and 15th October 2018 with average interview length of 25 minutes
  • SMEs defined as businesses having 0 to 249 employees  
  • Quotas set by employment size, sector and region
  • Interviews with person responsible for managing business finances
  • Data weighted to BEIS’s Business Population Estimates 2018 (BPE) by size and sector:
    • 821 with no employees interviewed (weighted to 76%)
    • 667 micros (1-9) interviewed (weighted to 20%)
    • 311 small (10-49) interviewed (weighted to 4%)
    • 201 medium (50-249) interviewed (weighted to 1%)


The author(s)

  • Rebecca Klahr Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Helen Motha Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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