Eager to internationalise – the availability of financing isn’t an obstacle
SMEs are planning to apply for internationalisation financing despite the record weak economic outlook. The availability of financing is considered to be good.
Economic expectations have undergone a major change compared against the survey done last autumn. The balance figure is negative for the first time since 2009, and 28 per cent of the respondents assessed that the downward trend of the economy will continue for the next 12 months.
From the perspective of financing, a positive feature in this spring’s SME Barometer Survey is that enterprises are willing to apply for internationalisation financing. Plans to apply for financing have risen in all sectors. Aside from the internationalisation expectations, the willingness to grow is also reasonably good despite economic uncertainty: seven per cent of enterprises say that they have a strong desire to grow and 35 per cent plan to grow according to their possibilities.
SMEs perceive that providers of financing have set stricter requirements for collateral and expect companies to provide larger shares of self-financing. In general, however, financing is not seen as a problem, and over 80 per cent of the respondents say that the availability of financing has not affected the implementation of projects.
“Last year, enterprises fell short of their growth targets mainly because of weak demand and stiffer competition. The business cycles may be unfavourable, but the markets still exist, and the winners on the markets are those who develop their competitiveness. Growth enterprises now need all possible support to gain a foothold on international markets. This is where we want to make an impact through financing, in cooperation with the other Team Finland organisations,” says CEO Pauli Heikkilä of Finnvera.
Improved financing options for Finnvera
Demand for outside financing will decline slightly during the next 12 months. Companies are cautious about investments and seek financing mainly for working capital.
Finnvera’s possibilities to finance different-sized enterprises improved markedly at the start of the current year. Finnvera’s range of tools is now considerably wider than before, especially in terms of encouraging investments and financing growth.
“We can now also finance enterprises larger than SMEs. On the other hand, small enterprises will be able to get loans of up to 50,000 euros directly from Finnvera. When business is profitable, we are increasingly better equipped to contribute to financing growth,” Heikkilä says.
The Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Finnvera and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly conduct an SME Barometer Survey twice a year. The goal is to study the operations and economic environment of small and medium-sized enterprises. The barometer for spring 2015 is based on responses from over 4,400 SMEs.
Arbets och näringsministeriet: Konjunkturbilden för tillväxtorienterade SMF-företag positivare än för andra
Pauli Heikkilä, Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 29 460 2400
Jonna Myllykangas, Communications Officer, tel. +358 29 460 2740
Finnvera provides financing for the start, growth and internationalisation of enterprises and for protection against export risks. We strengthen the operating potential and competitiveness of Finnish enterprises by providing loans, domestic guarantees, venture capital investments and export financing services. The risks involved in financing are shared between Finnvera and other providers of financing. Finnvera is a specialised financing company owned by the State of Finland. It has official Export Credit Agency (ECA) status.