Research conducted by Linkflow Capital shows that more SMEs enjoyed improved access to financing in 2018. In the latest SME financing research conducted by Linkflow Capital, more SMEs in 2018 experienced improved access to financing.
According to Linkflow Capital, up to 34% of SMEs gained access to financing in 2018, a marked improvement from 2017’s survey data which suggested that only 19% of SMEs were qualified for business financing. Research data and statistics are derived from Linkflow Capital’s SME loan comparison portal launched in 2017. For this latest survey, data was generated from over 2771 users for the period January to December 2018.
“In 2018, our dataset suggests a significant improvement for SMEs attempting to secure business financing, with up to 34% of our portal users eligible indicatively for financing. This is almost double that of our 2017 survey which indicated only a 19% eligibility rate.” said Ben Teo, a spokesperson for Linkflow Capital.
“In our opinion, some of the reasons for this improvement in financing eligibility could be due to factors such as the government’s continued support to SMEs in financing schemes such as the SME Working Capital Loan and healthy domestic economic growth in 2018 that exceeded expectations. More alternative lending options for SMEs such as P2P crowdfunding platforms introduced in recent years could also lead to an increase in business lending.”
Some of the headline figures that resulted in the improvement in financing access culled from this survey includes an improvement in profitability. Data from 2017’s survey indicated that 55% of users were loss-making. For 2018’s research findings, only 19% of users reported financial losses. For both years’ research, a common reason for financing ineligibility due to smallish revenue and poor cash flow stayed consistent. 51% of users reported both annual revenue of below S$300,000 and low operating cash flow. This does not differ much from 2017’s figures with 52% of users who declared the same.
It is also noted that more new startups are trying to access financing. In 2018’s data, 26% of users are businesses incorporated for less than a year, compared to 21% in 2017.
As we cross the halfway mark in 2019, recent released economic data suggests that the overall macro view of Singapore’s trade-reliant economy does not seem optimistic against the backdrop of the US-China trade war. Economists have revised downwards on our economic growth prospects for 2019 if global trade continues to face headwinds. This might lead to an adverse impact on overall financing liquidity for SMEs. Businesses should well pay heed to be watchful and plan ahead for their short to mid-term financing needs.