In the last year, the alternative finance market boomed, providing more finance to SMEs. Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platforms are frequently providing finance for businesses and possibly becoming a threat to mainstream banks. Research at Nesta, University of Cambridge and UC Berkeley was released last Friday, showing that over a third of the businesses receiving funding from Crowdcube (a crowdfunding website) thought they could not have raised money anywhere else.
The rise of alternative finance against incumbent banks could be a common theme for 2014. With business owners increasingly struggling to get finance from banks, the success of alternative funding platforms has risen considerably over the year.