Over one million entrepreneurs “shunned” by mainstream lenders

73,000 businesses have never come to fruition because they couldn't access finance - more business owners turn to friends and family for funding

More than one million UK sole traders have been turned down for mainstream finance and almost a third have been rejected for a bank loan, according to research by Amigo Loans.

The survey of 500 sole traders revealed that more than one in 20 of those that had been refused a traditional loan did not seek funding elsewhere, meaning a potential 73,000 businesses never came to fruition because they couldn’t access finance.

Two fifths (40%) of the business owners surveyed said they had turned to family for financial support while 30% had secured investment from friends. Another two fifths (42%) of respondents admitted using their overdraft for start-up finance, despite overdraft fees hitting record highs.

Rather alarmingly, a quarter of sole traders that had been refused a loan claimed they would have stood a better chance of securing funding from a stranger on the street.

Glen Crawford, CEO of Amigo Loans, commented:

“It’s a disgrace that the people who keep our society operating, the mobile hairdressers, the wedding photographers, cleaners, cafe owners, mechanics, driving instructors and a whole host of other ambitious sole traders are being alienated by banks – the bankers have forgotten why they exist.”

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