Our day at the Finance Professional Show

Now in its fifth year, the Finance Professional show, hosted at Olympia London, was a successful day for Growth Street and hundreds of finance professionals! Amongst the one and a half thousand attendees was one of our Business Development Managers, Andy Phillips. Andy said: “It was a really successful show and a great chance to talk to other professionals in the finance industry.”

With its largest conference programme to date, the day saw a series of informative talks. Focuses included the property sector, innovative funding options and gender diversity in the finance industry. An especially insightful panel discussion was led by Alastair Lukies, the Prime Minister’s Ambassador for Fintech, on ‘fintech and future-proofing your business’.

Our very own Julie Warren took part in a panel discussion on SME funding and awareness. The opening question, posed by moderator Adam Tyler, was thought-provoking: “More and more business finance providers have entered the market, and awareness would appear to be at an all-time high. So, what’s the problem? Are SMEs reluctant to borrow, or are banks and lenders reluctant to lend?” To Julie, the answer was that the process of finding the right lender for your business may be where problems lie when it comes to accessing finance.

Julie emphasised that “there are a multitude of products that will give you the flexibility that you’re looking for”, and that accurate descriptions of what lenders are offering would help businesses looking at finance options to narrow down their search. A survey of over 1,000 UK workers that we conducted in January 2018 found that 45% of respondents would approach their bank first when looking for finance, while less than one in 10 (8%) would approach an alternative lender:

There is clearly work to be done if alternative finance providers are to become the default option for SMEs, rather than the traditional high street bank. (For more insights like this, download our white paper, Beyond Banks!) The Finance Professional Show presented a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the diverse and abundant finance options available to SMEs. It was a space that welcomed and facilitated face-to-face conversations between alternative lenders and those who are looking to access more efficient and flexible facilities. As Lukies stated, in an age where money has ‘evolved’ and “technology businesses rule”, the platforms which facilitate this growth are looking to follow suit.

Attending the Finance Professional Show was an informative way to keep abreast of the different innovations taking place in the sector. For Julie Warren, “it’s a great investment of time coming to these events, as it gives us the chance to learn more about the options that are out there for businesses.”

Below, you can see a few of the best photos from Growth Street’s day at Olympia! You can watch the official show highlights here, and don’t forget to check out the SME funding awareness panel featuring Julie Warren here.

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