New research released by Barclays has revealed that over half of the UK’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have woken up at night with a new business idea (57 per cent), while the most popular time for an idea to be dreamt up is between 2-3 am (28 per cent). The average SME owner has just six hours and 12 minutes of shut eye per night, compared to the average person in Wales who is in bed over half an hour longer.
Analysis revealed that almost half (48 per cent) of SMEs said that they are more creative at night, with over two fifths saying they are more productive outside of 9 – 5 working hours and keep a note pad and pen by their bed so they can jot down ideas. Over half attributed this to having extra time to think away from daytime pressures.
In a High Street banking first, Barclays has launched £100,000 unsecured lending for SMEs on its award winning app and online banking platform, with thousands of SMEs set to benefit from access to faster finance.
With two fifths of SMEs surveyed (44 per cent) saying they would have more confidence in applying for a loan if they could see a pre-assessed limit, Barclays is offering over 360,000 customers pre-assessed limits on their digital channels.
The limits for unsecured digital lending have increased to £100,000 from £25,000 for thousands of clients, with funds typically received in the account within 24 hours.
In 2018 Barclays funded a new start-up every four minutes, with a total of £2.8 billion of loans boosting small businesses. The bank recently unveiled a package of support for businesses as part of its Backing the UK initiative and to mitigate the impact of Brexit uncertainty, with a £14 billion dedicated lending fund, and a series of over 100 clinics providing business advice and guidance hosted by the bank’s network of 1,500 relationship managers.
Ian Rand, CEO of Barclays Business Banking, said:
“Every day we talk to thousands of SMEs about how we can support them to grow their business, and our team of relationship managers are out and about visiting offices and homes up and down the country.
“Now, with the launch of £100k unsecured lending on our app and online banking, we’ll be able to go even further to support businesses with exciting scale-up plans to borrow what they want, when they want.
“With pre-assessed limits of up to £100k, clients can follow just six simple steps and receive the money in their account normally within 24 hours.”
Last year the bank also announced a partnership with MarketInvoice, Europe’s leading peer-to-peer lender, which enables businesses to get funding against their outstanding invoices, unlocking fast access to cash.