International trade will drive 25% growth of Britain’s small businesses

America and Western Europe are the key target markets for small businesses, followed by the Nordics and Asia...

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Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses expect international trade to provide a 25% boost to their business’ growth over the next five years, research from EE has suggested today.

Interviewing 1,000 small firms in March of this year, the EE SME International Ambitions survey found that 40% of small businesses are currently trading internationally while an additional 6% intend to do so by 2021.

America and Western Europe are the top target markets for small businesses in the UK – 55% of small firms said they were looking to expand in the US while 82% said they were currently trading with, or planning to trade with, Western Europe.

The Nordics was listed as the third most popular growth market, as cited by 44%, followed by Asia, Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Businesses in manufacturing, media and marketing, and IT and telecoms were found to be the most likely to be trading, or planning to trade, abroad.

When it came to resources to support international trade, 69% of small businesses that were already trading overseas said international calls were critical to their business success while 75% said access to mobile devices while abroad was equally as important.

Lydia Hicks, director of SME product marketing at BT, said the research highlighted how “UK small and medium enterprises show no signs of holding back on their international business ambitions.”

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