Irish SMEs are going for growth financed by new borrowings and other sources of finance

Irish SMEs are confident in the prospects for growth in own businesses (81%) in the year ahead. Demonstrating the levels of entrepreneurship, over a quarter (26%) are planning new product and service innovation, up from 18% last year. Plans for new borrowings are up with finance becoming available from various sources. These are some of the initial findings from PwC's 2015 SME Pulse Survey, the full Survey which will be published in the coming weeks.

According to the survey, one in five of Ireland's SMEs are planning new borrowings in the year ahead, up from 12% last year. A similar proportion (20%) are planning to raise new equity, up from less than one in ten (8%) last year. The survey also suggests that more SMEs in Ireland are planning to use ‘other’ sources of finance within their overall capital structure, up from 11% last year to 15% this year.

At the same time, nearly half (44%) of Irish SMEs say that the inability to finance business growth is a key business threat, although this has eased compared to last year (61%). A third (33%) are calling for Government to prioritise access to affordable capital.

Speaking about these survey results in advance of the Irish Banking and Payments Federation Conference, Declan McDonald, Advisory Partner, PwC, said: "The survey shows that many Irish SMEs are still struggling to get finance, albeit the situation has eased compared to last year. We hope that this improvement in credit will continue to finance growth and promote entrepreneurship."

David Tynan, Corporate Finance Partner, PwC, added: "As our economy continues on its renewed growth path, Irish SMEs are looking for growth opportunities. Our survey demonstrates that plans for new borrowings are on the increase although the mix of financial institutions may be changing. The survey highlights that more Irish SMEs may be looking for alternative sources of finance. In addition, the fact that more SMEs are planning to raise equity should assist them in their debt financing."

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