Tuesday 30 August 2016 2:03 pm

Financing is difficult but not unsurmountable say high-growth business leaders

Britain's high-growth companies believe access to finance has sharply deteriorated since the Brexit vote but remain positive they can increase revenues over the next 12 months despite the economic challenges that lie ahead. 

Over 50 per cent of respondents to a survey by private equity investor ECI said gaining new finance was either "difficult" or "very difficult" – up from 22 per cent last year – while financing sentiment was at its lowest levels since 2012.

Nevertheless, two-thirds of so-called "gazelle" companies said they expected revenue growth over the next year, with nearly half anticipating double-digit increases.

Read more: Forget tech unicorns, it's all about gazelles

“The latest ECI Partners growth survey provides a timely reminder of what growth companies need… raising the productivity of our economy has never been more important. 

“We face challenging times ahead – but there are opportunities as well," said CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn.

Food exporter Ramsden International was one of the respondents that focussed on the positives.

"Our hope is that post-Brexit, Britain will be able to negotiate better trade deals with countries like Canada and Australia. We are seeing demand grow at a faster rate in markets outside Europe,” said chief executive Sean Ramsden.

Read more: Businesses push on with growth plans despite Brexit vote

"I think there’s a lot of EU regulation out there that may have originally been well intended but has been badly executed. It would be good to see the removal of some unnecessary red tape,” said Jonathan Elliot of business comparison website Make it Cheaper.

Operating in the EU Single Market was the top priority of the directors of the gazelles, with continued access to an EU workforce as the next most important item on company's agendas.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the biggest fear of respondents was an economic downturn.

“Economists have been very gloomy about our economic prospects post the Brexit referendum, so it is heartening to see such grit and resilience coming from Britain’s high growth companies," said Chris Watt of ECI.