New research released today by Linked Finance shows that businesses who have borrowed money from the Irish peer-to-peer (P2P), have grown their staff numbers by an average of 24%.
Seventy two percent of respondents to the survey said the funds they had raised through the platform had helped them to grow their teams, with 68% planning to hire more staff this year.
The companies surveyed had grown from an average of 10 employees to almost 13 post funding. When these figures are applied to all 892 Irish SMEs the platform has supported so far, the survey suggests that funding secured with Linked Finance has directly led to the creation of over 2,400 new jobs since 2013.
Business sentiment among Irish SMEs looks to be strong, with Linked Finance’s survey showing that 81% of companies are positive or very positive about the outlook for their business in 2018. This is consistent with ISME’s recent quarterly business trends survey which showed confidence amongst its members at a 21-month high.
Linked Finance has seen a strong increase in demand across the first two months of 2018, following a transformative 2017 for the lending platform, which saw total loans made of €24.2m, an increase of 155% on the prior year.
The company has now provided more than 1,300 loans to Irish SMEs since its launch in 2013, more than €46 million in funding with €3.5 million in interest already earned by Linked Finance lenders.
Commenting on the research, CEO of Linked Finance, Niall Dorrian said, "The high level of business confidence we see in this survey is reflected in the demand we’re seeing for new lending on the platform. SMEs need a quick decision on a loan application and don’t have the resources to engage in the lengthy procedures which are expected by some traditional lenders. This is why peer-to-peer lending is such an attractive option, with an easy online application process and same day credit decision on loans of up to €250,000."