More Support Needed to Help SMEs Export

Part of the government’s plans to stimulate economic growth has been to encourage the UK’s SMEs to expand by looking into opportunities to sell their products and services abroad. However, new research published by the Federation of Small Businesses suggests that the majority of small and medium firms are struggling to find the necessary help.

More than three quarters of Britain’s small businesses believe there is a lack of government support. In reaction to these results, the FSB is calling for the more to be done to make help and information more accessible.

Around a quarter of small firms currently export – mainly in the manufacturing industry (55%) and services sector (37%). Of these, 36% are confident of success and expect to see the value of their exported goods increase in the coming months.

John Allan, National Chairman of the FSB, said: “Our research shows that, despite best efforts, our members continue to be frustrated in their attempts to expand overseas.

“It is vital that the UK’s small firms receive the right support, not just their medium-sized or larger counterparts, and that it is maintained for the long term.”

What kind of support do small businesses need?

Mr Allan thinks organising events, such as the International Festival for Business that took place in Liverpool of July 3rd and brought together potential clients from overseas markets, is a sound way to promote partnership opportunities with companies worldwide.

He added: “Our export survey shows why it is so important to hold events. With a quarter of small businesses facing difficulty in finding customers abroad, events like this place British industry in the shop window.”

In terms of access to information, the FSB wants the government to come up with a more streamlined approach promoting quick and simple access to channels of support.