UK’s alternative finance industry is now worth £3.2bn

Demand for alternative funding options "soaring" with 51% of small business owners having used, or considered using, altfinance

Demand for alternative finance is rising at a rapid pace with the industry now worth £3.2bn – up from £1.74bn in 2014 – research from lender Amicus Finance has reported.

Polling 400 small business owners, the research found that 51% have used, or considered using, alternative finance with the most popular options being crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, invoice finance, property finance, and asset finance.

53% of the small firms surveyed also said that they predict demand for alternative finance will increase by an average of 28% over the next two years while only 6% think demand will decline.

See also: Are we in a crowdfunding bubble that’s about to burst?

Of those small businesses looking for investment over the next year, 39% said they would use it to invest in IT equipment, followed by investment in cars (18%), telecoms equipment (13%), plant and machinery (12%), and commercial vehicles (11%).

Amicus CEO, John Jenkins, said the research showed that “the business finance landscape continues to change”:

“Demand for alternative finance is set to go from strength to strength over the coming years as mainstream lenders struggle to evolve to adequately support a thriving small business community. Small businesses are increasingly turning to specialist lenders who have the skills to understand their specific needs.”

The research contradicts a survey out today which argues that small businesses “don’t trust” alternative payment providers, read more on this here.

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