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How savvy are business owners with AI technology?

by Peter Smyth Tech Journalist
14th Jan 20 11:59 am

Esme loans surveyed over 250 business owners to find out how savvy and open-minded UK business owners are when it comes to AI technology and its offering. The survey results included some insights into the UK’s attitudes towards AI. Over half of business owners are open-minded about using AI technology within their company. One in 10 business owners feel excited about the prospect of using AI for their business and more than one in 10 said they already use AI technology in their business every single day.

The biggest area that business owners are looking for AI assistance with is data analysis, with 39% of business owners agreeing they would look for help. Marketing followed with 37% and bookkeeping with 31% of business owners agreeing that AI would help them in their business. Additionally, 67% of business owners surveyed said they would consider using AI technology if it improved productivity.

A huge 73% of business owners said they don’t knowingly use AI technology. We then asked them to choose online tools or websites that they may use from a long list, this list included social networks, Gmail, voice assistant devices and more. Unsurprisingly, all of those surveyed admitted to using at least one of the websites or tools from the list. Which means the 73% of business owners that said they don’t use AI technology and the 29% of business owners that said they were scared, reluctant and apprehensive about AI, are actually already using it.

From Esme Loans’ research, it seems that many people are not fully aware of AI’s potential with 60% of business owners feeling like they have overlooked the potential of AI and 43% of business owners say they don’t understand how AI can benefit their business.

What does the future of AI hold for businesses? 39% of business owners will be investing in AI Technology in the next 5-years, with almost one in 10 business owners planning to invest in AI in the next 12 months. Younger business owners seem slightly more tech-savvy and open-minded with 67% of business owners aged 34 and under saying they are planning to invest in AI technology in the next 5-years, compared to 41% of 45+-year-olds.

Esme Loans supports small businesses across all sectors with loans between £25,000 and £250,000, with a fast and easy online application process. Esme Loans recently achieved £70m of lending to UK customers, having grown its entire book by 40% in just under 4 months, and recently extended its loan threshold from £150,000 to £250,000 to help more UK businesses grow.

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