Few SMBs aiming to export to overseas markets

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Relatively few small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are looking to trade internationally, it has been claimed.

Research conducted by Bibby Financial Services found that just 16 per cent of SMBs are considering exporting to boost trade.

This is despite the government calling on the SMB community to drive an export-led economic recovery.

Chancellor George Osborne has challenged UK businesses to double exports to a value of £1 trillion by the end of the decade.

Rather than increasing exports, busineses are focusing on staff development (34 per cent) and increasing their social media profile (29 per cent).

Simon Davies, head of international trade at Bibby Financial Services, said a number of issues hold small businesses back when engaging in overseas trade.

These include a lack of access to finance, a drawn out application process and insufficient support overcoming cultural, legal and language barriers, he noted.

"The government must help build awareness of the different forms of alternative finance in an effort to ease the pressure placed on banks, and increase the speed at which businesses can obtain," Mr Davies claimed.

Only then will SMBs be able to fully reach their potential and help increase overall gross domestic product by selling goods and services to foreign customers.

Posted by Jenny Arthur