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Growing pains

Jason Sinclair takes a look at the trends and challenges for the UK’s growing businesses.

In the current UK economy, there are considerable challenges for SMEs. One major issue is the skills shortage, and this is something many growth company experts try to wrap their heads around. Increased competition to lend to SMEs is another, and it’s due to growth in alternative and asset-based finance. The entrepreneurial and investing culture is growing, and it’s here to stay.

Albion Ventures’ fourth annual growth report gives a fascinating insight into the thinking of CEOs on the challenges they face in delivering the growth that the UK economy craves. “The SME sector is naturally resilient and optimistic, and that is reflected in the findings of our 2016 report. You really have to be optimistic if you’re running a company, you cannot be gloomy. I think that is quite an important factor of what it means to be running an SME,” says Reeve.

“Entrepreneurs find a way,” says ICON Corporate Finance’s CEO Alan Bristow. “These companies are led by some great people who have created businesses out of nothing and have had to deal with all sorts of challenging conditions. They will continue to do that. It’s Darwin’s law out there, and the best of them will continue to not only survive, but they will also thrive. I’ve seen different market conditions come and go, and there’s been some tough periods companies have had to battle through. But they’ve done it before and they’ll do it again. I have no worries about that.”

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