Small businesses willing to borrow to expand

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

As many as 88% of business owners surveyed by Spinter in early January said they would be willing to use external funding to expand their businesses. The share has grown from 83% last year and 71% in 2013.

Audrius Zabotka, director of the government’s small business promotion agency Invega, says that over the coming years businesses are likely to invest into innovative solutions and securing technological advantage over their competitors.

“I think this will be a priority for many small businesses that want to stay competitive or enter new markets. Equally important will prove coming up with new original business ideas or successfully adapting ideas from other countries,” Zabotka says.

Businesses also borrow more readily to finance their working capital: 40% of the surveyed businesses this year against 33% in early 2015. A third (34%) of the 300 surveyed businesses had development plans that needed external funding: 9% said they were already implementing the plans and 25% were drafting them.

Professor Gerda Žigienė of the Lithuanian Financial Markets Institute says that expansion can mean different things for business in different stages of development. “For new business, expansion means conquering the market; for mature business, investment into new technologies; old business could mean investing into human resources,” she says.

Entrepreneur Karolis Samušis says that planning and executing plans how to expand the business is a constant concern. “We are continuously thinking about expansion for two reasons. First, our product is intended for the global market, therefore we are competing against big companies that regularly invest thousands into technological solutions. Second, our goal is, naturally, to increase the turnover, which is impossible without expansion,” Samušis says.

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