New research has suggested that alternative methods of business funding are becoming more and more crucial to the UK’s small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Over half of SME owners said they would not feel confident approaching their bank for funding but 38% felt alternative methods of funding such as invoice finance are the future for firms to gain access to external finance, suggesting such types of funding will compete on a level playing field with traditional bank facilities in the future. External funding remains extremely important to many businesses and their daily operations. A third of respondents suggested that external funding is vital to help them grow in the future, 24% said without it growth would be a lot slower, whilst 12% suggested that their business could fail without the help of their funding facility. Skipton Business Finance’s Sales & Marketing Director, Andy Grantham, commented on the research: “SMEs in this day and age have access to many different types of funding and would do well to research their options thoroughly to ensure they get the best facility for them”. “Invoice finance is one solution worth considering, which can be used by businesses which issue invoices.” “It can really help to free up funds that get tied up in unpaid invoices, which in our experience is causing a problem for businesses across many sectors”, he concluded.