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SMEs continue to grow in spite of the downturn. Despite the current gloomy environment, many SMEs continue to grow revenue - albeit at a slower pace than in 2007 or 2008. In all, 54% of executives expect revenue growth in the next two years; just 15% expect a decline. Respondents in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa are most optimistic about the future. Access to finance for SMEs has been squeezed. Just as the pace of growth in net profit and cash flow generated by operations slows, executives say that financing has also been constrained. Just over one-half of those companies questioned for this research have seen a deterioration in the availability of finance over the past two years - especially bank lending and private equity funding.
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