Ferratum SME Summer Barometer 2018

The SME barometer approaches entrepreneurs that helm small and medium businesses in different countries and charts their views, sentiments, and attitudes towards entrepreneurship, business development and the drivers for success. The barometer also seeks to improve the wider understanding of business practices, company cultures, and the economic prospects of SMEs on different markets. Ferratum UK was part of the 1st SME survey where we’re looking at Summer behavior in the CapitalBox SME SUMMER BAROMETER 2018.


In the first-ever biannual CapitalBox SME Future Climate Indicator, it was revealed that UK small and medium businesses view the summer period as the most important period of the year when it comes to sales. Despite the general uncertainty caused by Brexit, UK respondents were confident investing more in their business. As many as three out of four UK-based SMEs said that based on a promising economic outlook in the UK, they would comfortably seek external funding to help grow their business.

“We have seen positive signs in the market for some time and by conducting our own study we’re able to back up our own analysis of UK entrepreneurs who are the backbone of our economy at the moment. It seems that in the UK, the summer is a critical time for SMEs, with much time given to development and growth of their business. It’s great to see that UK SME owners are feeling optimistic about the future, with such a high percentage planning on investing more in the next year.” – Tony Gundersen, UK Country Manager.

Seeking external funding in the next 6 months?

The CapitalBox SME Future Climate Indicator surveyed small and medium business entrepreneurs in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK, to better understand the views and attitudes around entrepreneurship and business financing. The survey looked at how important SMEs consider the summer period for business, what actions SMEs were likely to take during this period and to gauge SMEs economic outlook in their respective market.

Although responses differed significantly between the markets, one thing they had in common was a demand for new, flexible funding solutions to support their ambitions to expand.

What is/are your funding sources?

Flexible financing options required for growth during economic uncertainty

The CapitalBox SME Future Climate Indicator shows a continued trend in traditional bank giving way to other, more flexible funding solutions. The results reveal that, on average, new finance solutions have topped traditional banks by three per cent, indicating a growing demand for more flexible funding solutions. The Netherlands is the frontrunner when it comes to businesses favoring new financing options with 42% of businesses preferring alternative financing over financing from traditional banks.

Summer is for sales – except when it’s not

According to the survey results, in Finland, the Netherlands, and the UK, summer is seen as the most critical time of year for sales. During the summer months, the three countries say they will use this period to focus on developing their businesses through creating strategic guidelines and charting out new markets. In countries such as Sweden and Denmark, however, summertime is often seen as a break from work with a quarter of the businesses in Sweden and a fifth in Denmark prioritizing vacation time over sales

What do the summer months mean to your company?

The results also showed that businesses planned to invest the same amount of money or more this summer than last year. Most optimistic were UK SME´s with 41% of businesses saying they planned to invest more than the previous year, followed closely by the Netherlands (35%) and Denmark (25%). Almost a third of Swedish businesses, however, said they intended to invest less this summer than last year.

How much does your company invest in the summer months compared to the previous summer?

More flexible financing solutions needed

Of all businesses surveyed, 35% said they would seek external funding in the next six months, while 41% said they were unsure. The economy is booming in the UK with three-quarters of the businesses saying they planned to apply for external funding. Over half of Danish businesses said they were uncertain whether they would need external funding.

Over the following months, most businesses said they would seek growth through expanding into new markets, through their investments or through training or hiring new employees. Businesses in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden said they would rely on their investments for their growth. One-fifth of the businesses in the Netherlands said they hoped to expand into new markets, closely followed by the UK. Those in Finland were more cautious, focusing instead on training existing personnel and hiring new talent in hope to grow their business.

How would you estimate your company’s economic prospects in the next 6 months?

How would you estimate the number of employees in your company in the next 6 months?

The first biannual CapitalBox SME Future Climate Indicator was conducted in May 2018 as an online survey to CapitalBox clients. It seeks to chart the views and attitudes of SME businesses towards entrepreneurship in several countries, including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

In 2018, nearly one thousand SMEs from the five markets responded to the CapitalBox barometer:

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

How pleased are you with your business at the moment?

In which phase your company is currently in?

Describe how international your business portfolio is.

What is your dream as an entrepreneur?

What does summer vacation mean to you?

How easily can you separate your free time from work?

About Ferratum Group

Ferratum offers customers a fast, easy to use mobile lending and banking services for consumers and businesses. Founded in 2005, and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Ferratum has expanded rapidly to now operate in 25 countries across Europe, Africa, South and North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

As a pioneer in digital and mobile financial services technology, Ferratum is at the forefront of the digital banking revolution. Ferratum’s mobile bank, launched in 2016, is an innovative mobile banking platform offering a range of banking services, including real-time digital payments and transfers, within a single app. It is currently available in five European markets.

For further information please visit: www.ferratumgroup.com

Tony Gundersen, UK Country Manager

E. anthony.gundersen@ferratum.co.uk

M. +447771945331