Just one in 10 small businesses export goods and services to overseas markets, a major study has revealed.
The research, published by the Department for International Trade (DIT), suggests that few firms are taking advantage of international trading opportunities.
According to the report, just 10 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – around 228,000 businesses – sold their products to international markets in 2019 – the latest data available.
But the total value of exports (£99 billion) increased by more than £700 million compared to the previous year, meaning that those which do export are reaping the benefits.
The figures were published on Small Business Saturday, an annual event designed to support the growth of regional firms.
Commenting on the report, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “From the high street to the web, small businesses are at the heart of our economy. It is great to see so many are reaping the benefits of exporting and we want to see them go even further.
“Just one in 10 small businesses currently export, so we’re boosting our support to give them direct, tailored advice to help them on their exporting journey. Many of these businesses are in prime position to take advantage of the trade deals we are negotiating, and can play a vital role in helping the UK reach our Race to a Trillion.”
Businesses new to exporting can get started by signing up to the newly-expanded UK Export Academy. The programme offers free training to business owners seeking to sell to overseas customers and secure contracts around the world.
New and experienced traders, meanwhile, can also take advantage of the Export Support Service. The online platform can provide guidance on exporting to new markets, what paperwork you need to sell your goods abroad, and rules for a specific country where you want to sell services.
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our team today.