U.K. businesses are beginning to get curious about their crowdfunding options to access financing.

According to accounting and advisory firm Cowgill Holloway, the term “crowdfunding” surpassed “business loan” and “bank loan” in internet searches this year, suggesting companies are beginning to explore their options in alternative finance, as the U.K. aims to introduce more competition in the small business (SMB) finance industry.

Reports in GrowthBusiness.co.uk noted, however, that search trends for “asset finance” and “invoice finance” remain low, signaling a lack of awareness among SMB borrowers for these particular types of business funding options.

“I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see the popularity of such search phrases rising, but what has been interesting to note is that searches for ‘crowdfunding’ have actually overtaken searches on traditional forms of finance,” reflected Benjamin Day, director of Cowgill Holloway Business Funding. “We’ve also seen big budgets spent on digital advertising for these newer types of funding, meaning people are seeing these brand names appear at the top of the advertising rankings — as well as the organic ranking — even when people are searching for funding quite generally.”

The Business Funding unit, a newly launched business finance unit of Cowgill Holloway, was created to help businesses source alternative funding options in addition to traditional lending methods.

“Businesses we are meeting with are increasingly enquiring about alternative means of securing finance,” Day continued. “They are ambitious and are demanding options. No longer does a one-size loan model fit all; it’s a complex matchmaking process to find a bespoke solution to bring business goals within reach, sometimes incorporating a number of finance methods.”

“This is why we launched our business funding arm,” he added. “The sheer range of solutions available can be overwhelming … for a business owner already spinning many plates, it’s near impossible to survey the market with enough attention to be confident that you have the right solution.”

BusinessLoan – BingNews