Funding rises, but 50% of SMEs are burnt out by the process

A new report reveals that remote funding rounds are offering new growth prospects, but at the same time, leading to burnout among entrepreneurs.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Direct to your inbox Email Newsletter viewed on a phone

Sign up to the Startups Weekly Newsletter

Stay informed on the top business stories with’s weekly email newsletter


Over four in five entrepreneurs believe that the shift to remote funding rounds in our new era of remote and hybrid working has opened new growth opportunities, according to a recent poll conducted by Pitch, a collaborative presentation platform. 

The surge is attributed to a growing confidence in remote fundraising efforts, with 61% of respondents highlighting its positive impact. However, while this shift brings new prospects, it also exacts a toll on the well-being of business leaders and their teams.

Key insights

Remote revolution: 80% of participants agree that remote pitching has opened doors that were previously closed to them, setting the stage for exciting opportunities.

Team well-being takes a hit: while businesses remain optimistic about funding rounds, their owners acknowledge the toll this process takes on their teams. A significant 75% believe that current economic conditions such as the cost of living crisis adds extra pressure.

Burnout beware: more than half (53%) of owners have either personally experienced stress or burnout or witnessed it within their teams while seeking venture capital. This has led to various consequences, including team members taking paid time off (34%), being medically signed off (27%) or leaving the company altogether (28%).

Overcoming the challenges

Business leaders are beginning to adapt to these changing dynamics. A significant 79% of leaders admit that more frequent remote pitching has prompted them to rethink their approach. Respondents also acknowledge the need to enhance their remote presentation skills, with 78% finding it more challenging to engage audiences remotely and 82% recognising the increased importance of structuring their pitch right.

Sarah Kiefer, Chief Marketing Officer at Pitch, notes: 

“For many entrepreneurs, the move to remote and hybrid working is a double-edged sword. 

While the shift in working patterns has undeniably opened up opportunities to reach new potential customers and backers, it has also created friction as firms adjust.”

The return of in-person pitching?

After a few years of disruption, in-person pitching has re-established itself as the default format for fundraising pitches. When given a choice, 51% prefer to pitch in person, compared to 31% favouring remote options and 16% having no preference.

However it seems the best option here would be to have a balance, as 71% point out that a return to in-person pitching exclusively would trigger immense anxiety among their teams, particularly among their Gen Z workforce.

Kiefer’s concluding thoughts were: 

Pitching to secure funding is as crucial as ever for a successful entrepreneur, but continued economic uncertainty means success cannot be taken for granted. 

While there are reasons to remain confident, businesses planning funding rounds should ensure their business plan, tools and processes are giving them the best possible chance of success. 

It’s a high-pressure game, and securing investment is a team effort. Without a sustainable approach that prioritises team welfare, business leaders may find themselves facing burnout and high turnover rates.”


The world of pitching and fundraising is evolving rapidly, with remote and hybrid options becoming more prevalent. 

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, it’s important to strike a balance between seizing new opportunities and safeguarding their team’s well-being to navigate this new and challenging landscape successfully.

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top