While London, as the UK’s capital city, is the epicentre of the economy, new research suggests small and medium businesses in this region are not necessarily the most self-assured. The study by independent venture capital investor Albion Ventures highlights how confident SMEs across Britain are in terms of anticipating future business success.

As a whole, 62% of firms across the UK said they were feeling optimistic about achieving success. However, the figures vary considerably between different regions.

The North West came out as the most confident of all, with 83% of firms expecting growth. London followed close behind with 81% of firm owners feeling inspired about the likelihood of a successful future. However other areas of the UK are lagging behind in terms of confidence, with East Anglia having the lowest percentage of confident companies (only 39% of businesses anticipated growth).

Confidence is high, but cash is tight

The report found that dealing with red tape and managing cash flow were the main barriers to growth.

Patrick reeve, Managing Partner at Albion ventures, said: “The evidence from this year’s Albion Growth Report points to a growing sense of confidence among UK SMEs. The next 12 months promise more jobs created, improved productivity and a stronger appetite for raising finance to support growth as opposed to survival.

“What’s particularly striking about this year’s report is the emergence of so-called threshold businesses, which are on the cusp of blossoming from start-up to established business.

“Threshold businesses have tremendous potential to drive forward the UK’s economy in the years ahead but face serious challenges: for them, cash is tight and they need finance for growth; they value skilled staff but find it difficult to recruit them. Recognising their own weakness and vulnerability they are much more likely to give up equity for hands-on support.”