Weak economic situation has not dampened the willingness to grow – financing is still available for growth companies
No change in companies' willingness to expand even though growth expectations have dropped substantially. There has been a slight increase in demand for financing. However, instead of funding for investments, companies are continuing to seek financing for working capital.
The weak economic situation has not dampened the enterprises' willingness to grow: One SME in ten says that it is strongly oriented towards growth, while 37 per cent of the companies say that their aim is to grow within their limits.
- It is now important to ensure that no profitable project fails because of the lack of financing. We are actively seeking growth-oriented companies and we are involved in a large number of national projects targeting growth companies. One of them is the Team Finland LetsGrow financing programme in which we offer financing without collateral, explains Finnvera's CEO Pauli Heikkilä.
After a positive period in spring, companies' expectations about their future investments have turned negative. About one in five of all SMEs plan to seek financing during the next 12 months, focusing on the acquisition of working capital rather than on obtaining funding for investments. The proportion of enterprises planning to seek financing is, however, three percent higher than in the spring survey. The interest in outside financing has grown, especially among strongly growth-oriented companies.
Even though, according to the survey, there has not been any change in overall availability of financing, three quarters of all enterprises say that the financing terms have become stricter.
Finnvera can continue to participate in the financing of projects in Russia
The crisis in Ukraine has created uncertainty in the trade with Russia. The sanctions already in place have also had an impact on the operations of the banks financing the trade. Finnvera is closely monitoring the situation.
Russia has been the biggest market for Finnvera's export credit guarantees and a target country for our internationalisation financing. Finnvera can still provide coverage for political and commercial risks for new projects in Russia to the extent that the export product in question or the Russian customer is not subject to EU sanctions. The chances to take part in the projects are always assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- Finnvera may also offer financing for working capital for those SMEs that have suffered as a result of the recent events in Russia. Finnvera's role becomes more important when companies find it difficult to obtain private funding or when there is a temporary weakening in their finances as a result of the overall economic situation, Pauli Heikkilä says.
The Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Finnvera and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy jointly conduct the SME Barometer Survey twice a year. The aim is to examine the operations and economic operating environment of small and medium-sized enterprises. The autumn 2014 Barometer Survey is based on the responses submitted by more than 5,800 SMEs.
Pauli Heikkilä, CEO, tel. +358 (0)29 460 2400
Jonna Myllykangas, Communications Officer, tel. +358 (0)29 460 2740