More co-operatives request external financing than SMEs. In 2017, 64.4% of co-operatives that received debt financing received it from credit unions and caisses populaires, 27.3% from domestic chartered banks, and 20.2% from a government institution. By comparison, 69.9% of the SMEs that made a request for external financing received financing from domestic chartered banks, 8.7% from government, and 23.6% from credit unions.
Both co-operatives and SMEs primarily rely on debt financing and trade credit. More co-operatives (38.1%) relied on debt financing (non-residential mortgages, line of credits, term loans and credit card) than SMEs (25.6%). Co-operatives and SMEs relied on trade credit and lease financing in similar numbers, but co-operatives relied more heavily on equity financing and government funding than SMEs.
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