More than one million SMEs hope to branch out overseas to boost growth

1.3 million SMEs hoping to branch out internationally to boost growth

A new annual survey suggests that some 1.3 million UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) intend to branch out overseas this year in a bid to expand their horizons and fuel their growth plans.

According to CitySprint’s latest annual survey of business owners and decision makers, ambitions among Britain’s SMEs remain strong despite the fact that business confidence has fallen slightly over the past few years.

Looking ahead, almost a quarter (24 per cent) of business leaders surveyed told the leading logistics company that they intended to investigate opportunities to expand overseas before the end of 2018.

Of those eyeing-up international trade, the majority (78 per cent) said they wanted their organisation to branch out into Europe, while more than half (55 per cent) added that they were hoping to establish a customer base in the United States.

Meanwhile, a further 36 per cent added that that they wanted to expand into Asian markets.

The survey assessed businesses in a variety of prominent sectors and found that, in most industries, around a third of businesses were anticipating above-average levels of international growth.

37 per cent of SMEs operating in the arts and culture sector felt confident about their short-term international future, as did 36 per cent of IT and telecoms companies, 32 per cent of SME retailers and 30 per cent of manufacturing and utilities firms.

Commenting on the findings, Patrick Gallagher, Group CEO at CitySprint, suggested it was encouraging that businesses were keen to push ahead with their growth plans despite current political uncertainties.