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Research by a leading social entrepreneur networking website has revealed that nearly 40% of small business owners and social entrepreneurs have experienced cash flow problems in the last few months as a result of the worsening economic situation.

In a sign that the credit crunch may now be starting to have an impact on the small business sector, research findings announced today by a leading social entrepreneur networking website has revealed that nearly 40%* of small business owners have said that they have experienced cash flow difficulties in the last few months and that they believe it is related to the worsening economic situation in the UK.

www.UnLtdWorld.com commissioned the research and asked the small business owners and social entrepreneurs who have signed up to its website and across the web a number of questions about the current state of the economy. 984 people took part in the research and statistics go some way to proving that the credit crunch is now affecting smaller companies.

Along with facing day to day cash flow difficulties, it would appear that small business owners are finding it harder to secure finance with 68% of those business owners who had recently applied for a business loan or credit card being turned down.

21% said that their business had been badly affected by the recent financial problems in the UK such as a training, research and consultancy company who has faced difficulties in its industry due to a reduction in buyers’ budgets.

Andrew Hughes, of Survivor Services has been directly affected by the credit crunch, and said,

"I am a supplier to health trusts and local authorities and the fact that they are reducing expenditure markedly is having a really negative impact on my business and income. Companies are doing all they can to cut costs, which is great for them, but at the expense of small business owners like myself."

Enterprise in the UK could also be affected by the recent tightening up of lending criteria by banks and building societies given that many entrepreneurs and small business owners use personal credit cards and loans to get their company off the ground.

The research found that 34% of the business owners who replied said they themselves had used personal loans and credit cards to fund their growth and start up costs.

Speaking about the research Alberto Nardelli, Chief Strategist for UnLtdWorld said,

“We wanted to get a better understanding of the real financial position faced by many small business owners and social entrepreneurs. To some extent, the outlook seems quite bleak for now”.

“We had noticed an increase in discussions relating to financial difficulties across our social networking site and the research has presented us with a really clear picture of the extent of the issues”.

Established only in March 2008, in the UK, as a project of UnLtd – the foundation for social entrepreneurs - www.UnLtdWorld.com already connects thousands of active members (http://siteanalytics.compete.com/unltdworld.com/?metric=uv), including a number of high profile and well known business individuals along with some of the biggest names in social enterprise.

Anyone is able to join the social networking site and some of the people who have already signed up include, the CEOs of key organisations such as Bullying, UK, Cancer Buddies Network and UKAware, editors from New Consumer and The Guardian, the founders of start-ups such as Walkit.com, Quotes4Charity, Belu, Greentomato Cars, Green Knickers and Mozzo Coffee. UnLtdWorld connects some of the planet’s most exciting social entrepreneurs: ranging from hybrid taxi services in Sydney and financial services for young people in homeless associations, to ethical underwear designers in London and fair trade coffee suppliers, all the way to community-based literacy programmes in NYC, HIV/AIDS awareness raising and prevention work through sports in Nairobi and mental health support groups that work alongside the NHS (national health service) in Scotland. ,

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FURTHER INFORMATION

UnLtdWorld is aimed at connecting social entrepreneurs, social innovators, socially-minded people and organisations that invest their efforts in changing the world for the better, and enabling these audiences to find and share targeted information.
Most social networks are built around relevance of contacts and broadcast information within circles of acquaintances. UnLtdWorld is about commonality of purpose: fostering new connections and matching information through the power of community and relevance of context and content.

UnLtdWorld is established on the principle that social entrepreneurship is a complex market with specific dynamics and changing the world for the better is a mission – it defines who you are.
UnLtdWorld isn’t about retaining eyeballs in front of a computer, or duplicating or substituting real world dynamics. UnLtdWorld aims to complement and add value to the array of fantastic positive action and efforts happening around the planet, and thereby enable even greater impact.

UnLtdWorld is driven by a constant dissatisfaction with the way the world is and by the realization that many people want to change the world for the better, and given access to proper tools, they will. UnLtdWorld wants to be one of those tools.

In parallel to fostering a vibrant community, UnLtdWorld aims to help build the capacity of social entrepreneurship, and enhance the efficiency of relations between social entrepreneurs, relevant stakeholders and the general public. We aim to do this mainly through the UnLtdWorld Research Lab, the world's most powerful mapping and graphing of social entrepreneurship, and of social and environmental issues. Through the Research Lab, UnLtdWorld provides critical social insight. Anyone, no matter their size, can access, use and take advantage of this platform, and by doing so co-create even greater value.

HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

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Editors Notes

For more information contact Andy or Rich, 10 Yetis Public Relations Agency on 01452 527898 – andy@10yetis.co.uk

To speak to the UnLtdWorld media team contact Rachel Slade, rachelslade@unltd.org.uk or on 0207 566 1137.

• 39.3% of respondents said that they had experienced cash flow difficulties in the day to day running of their business in recent months.

UnLtdWorld

- UnLtdWorld aims to foster a community of socially-minded people

- Over 10 minutes average time spent per use on site per day, 15 pages/visit/user/day, 1000s of objects added to the site, 4000 page views on average per day.

- For an overview of the sites functionality visit: http://unltdworld.com/downloads/UnLtdWorld_Overview.pdf

- A dedicated media section is available here: http://unltdworld.com/pages/media.php

- UnLtdWorld is a project of UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs

UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs

- UnLtd is a unique and dynamic organisation whose mission is to reach out and unleash the energies of social entrepreneurs

- UnLtd provides a complete package of funding and support, to help these individuals make their ideas a reality.

- Since launching in 2002, UnLtd has supported over 7000 individuals across the UK.

- For more information visit our website at www.unltd.org.uk, or UnLtdWorld Blog: http://unltdworld.com/pages/blog.php

UnLtdWorld is powered by Elgg
- Elgg is an open platform that allows anyone to build socially aware applications.

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