ENTREPRENEURS wanting to start their own firms are having to find the cash themselves, a new report has revealed.

The findings of the Oxfordshire Business Barometer show 79 per cent of county businesses had financed their business this year using their own money.

Just 18 per cent had managed to fund their plans using a bank loan, showing that traditional routes to financing a business are being hit by the continuing credit squeeze.

The latest quarterly survey of more than 40 firms in the county, highlights the continuing difficulties facing businesses as they look to the future.

Serial entrepreneur Phil Barclay set up Abingdon-based Bridge Master Medical in 2010 and sister company Bentley Medical last year to manufacture and supply disposable medical products worldwide. But Mr Barclay has had to put his family home up as security as it was the only way he could secure a bank loan covering costs such as a £26,000 lease on premises in Suffolk Way, despite having established and sold a successful business, Clinical Innovations Europe, in the recent past.

He said: “The bank have been very helpful but could only lend me the money if I secured my house against the loan. I am 58 and I have to be careful about what I commit to.

“If I was a student I can get a loan which I don’t have to pay back until I am earning enough.

“But if you have an idea and want to invest in a product, you have to walk through hell backwards to get any support at all.”

Despite ongoing problems with access to finance, the survey compiled by Oxford law firm Withy King shows many firms remain confident about the immediate future with more than 60 per cent reporting turnover has increased in the last year, while more than a third say they are planning to recruit during the rest of 2012.

Larger, successful firms are finding it easiest to borrow.

Rapidly growing medical instruments manufacturer Owen Mumford has recently gained planning permission to build a new for another building at De Haviland Way on the Windrush Industrial Park, Witney, in addition to its existing sites in Woodstock and Chipping Norton.

Managing director Jarl Severn said: “I do not believe it will be difficult to secure external funding if we need to.

“As the saying goes, people are happy to lend you an umbrella when the sun is shining.”