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Access to finance

SMEs: rebuilding a foundation for post-recovery growth

How smaller businesses are faring after the financial crisis.

Small and medium-sized enterprises : rebuilding a foundation for post-recovery growth.

Based on a comprehensive survey of more than 1,750 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) conducted by Forbes Insights in late 2010, this study considers how smaller businesses are faring in  the recovery.

Respondents from Canada, China, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and the UK confirmed SMEs have been looking to put their financial houses in order to help ensure they are well positioned to take advantage of economic recovery once it occurs. Cash flow in particular is very weak, and surprisingly this is a fact of the recovery both in rapidly growing markets and in stagnant ones.

Access to finance is an important contributor to the SME sector's recovery globally, and it's encouraging to see that most SMEs are able to source the finance that they need. But not all businesses find it as easy to finance themselves, and lenders generally have strong preferences on kinds of activity they will and will not finance.

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Published: 1 Nov 2010