This paper provide an overview of recent trends in the financing of smaller businesses in the U.K. It refers in particular to the findings of a major recent programme of work in this area funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, in which the author participated. This programme included the first national survey to address these issues since the Bolton Report of 1971, as well as a range of projects covering the finance of ethnic businesses and hi-tech firms as well as the market for informal venture capital. On the basis of this work and of the results of more recent follow up surveyors it is concluded that the evidence for general equity or debt gaps in the U.K. is weak. If anything SME funding was too easy in the boom of the late 1980s. It is argued that consideration could be given to the promotion through seedcorn funding of SME co-operative or mutual guarantee schemes to reduce information asymmetry in U.K. credit markets.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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