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UK SMEs get easier access alternative finance

Partnership and integration could open doors to lenders for Sage customers.

By Vinod

UK software giant Sage, announced two partnerships to help Small & Medium Businesses into the UK’s growing alternative finance industry, which was worth £1.74 billion in 2014.

Sage’s small business accounting package Sage 50 Accounts is integrated with MarketInvoice giving UK and Ireland SMEs faster ability to apply for funds.

The firm is also working with Funding Circle, an online marketplace for business loans.

One Sage 50 Accounts customer, Essex based, Ales by Mail planned to double the number of product lines it sold via its primary online retail channel. Working with MarketInvoice, Ales by Mail accessed the working capital needed to cover paying brewery suppliers while growing its online retail offering. This year, the company has experienced 76 per cent faster growth than during the first two quarters of 2014, according to Paul Kruzycki, MD of Ales by Mail. (above)

Lee Perkins, UKI MD for Sage, said: "By partnering with MarketInvoice and Funding Circle, we’re giving Small & Medium Businesses in the UK the ability to swiftly and easily apply for additional funding to support their business development and growth."

Lack of finance remains a critical issue for UK companies, with almost 40 per cent stating it holds them back from growing, according to UK Bond Network.

James Meekings, co-founder of Funding Circle, said: "Partnering with Sage will allow us to grow awareness and trust, bringing more competition and efficiency to the small business lending market."

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Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice, said: "The support of top firms like Sage will be a catalyst for the already rapid growth of the industry."

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