Research by international payments provider Currencies Direct has found that the majority of the UK SMEs it surveyed are looking at international expansion as a way of growing their business as a result of Brexit. Anna Tobin reports
Currencies Direct surveyed 316 UK-based small businesses across a five-day period in May 2018. Its poll found that 84% of UK SMEs are looking at international expansion and 57% believe that international trade generally offers more opportunities than challenges.
The survey found that 47% of SMEs are looking at international expansion as a result of Brexit and that 31% are starting to alter their products or services to appeal to international audiences. Nearly a fifth of respondents (17%) have begun marketing in overseas territories. Small businesses are also looking to trade globally, with 42% aiming to trade outside the EU. 39% of those questioned said that overseas expansion was necessary to the survival of their business.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, so it is encouraging to see them investigating the growth opportunities that overseas markets can offer,” says Brian Harris, chief product officer at Currencies Direct. “Our research showed that international trade was a top concern for business owners over the next twelve months. The Brexit effect seems to have helped spur businesses to explore these opportunities and, with strong indicators of intent like these, we would expect significantly more small businesses to start to trade on the global stage over the next five years.”