A lack of skilled staff is cited by a third of SMBs as one of the biggest barriers to growth, a report released this week has found.
The biggest skill gap exists in London, where half of small and medium businesses told Albion Ventures, a VC group, that it was hindering their growth.
One-third of UK-wide SMB firms identified a skills gap, with the biggest being sales, which impacts one in five businesses, followed by IT at 12% and financial management at 10%.
The Albion Growth Report said SMBs lost out to more established companies, which could attract skilled staff with more attractive offers, though Scotland was affected least, with SMBs rating lack of skilled staff as just 2.95 on a scale where 10 was the biggest concern.
The survey of 450 SMBs also found that just one in six had tried to raise cash in the last year, while 60% of those applications were granted.
Of the applications for funding submitted, 28% were from firms looking for long-term capital to support growth.
However, only one in eight SMBs told the venture capitalist group that they were willing to part with equity in exchange for external advice.
Despite this, 59% of SMBs remain confident about growing their business over the next two years.