A new report has revealed most small and medium-sized enterprises have never heard of the government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee.
A survey conducted by PeoplePerHour.com, an online marketplace for businesses, found that less just 16 per cent of the 1,120 SMEs quizzed had heard of the scheme, which facilitates bank lending to small businesses that lack the collateral to secure a commercial loan.
The survey also revealed that only five per cent of SMEs had applied for EFG funding, and of those that did apply only 18 per cent were successful. The most common amount received was between £1,000-£10,000.
According to PeoplePerHour.com founder and CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou, the findings send a loud message to the coalition government from the small business sector.
“We all know how difficult and expensive it is for SMEs to access funds from high street banks at the moment,” he says. “Other than private investment, the only other option - the EFG scheme - is virtually unknown to UK small businesses.
“To its credit, the government is determined to assist the private sector in creating the jobs and prosperity needed to offset the squeeze in public spending. But it clearly needs to make the EFG programme more visible to SMEs.
“Secondly, the mechanics of the scheme needs a reworking - it’s totally unacceptable that less than a fifth of those that applied actually received the funding they needed.”