UK SMEs look abroad to grow

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According to a recent report by Albion Ventures, more than half of the UK’s SMEs will enter overseas markets in the next two years.

Outlined in, what is now, the third Albion Growth report, the findings reveal that medium-sized companies are more likely to expand internationally than small businesses. 77% of medium-sized companies expressed ambitions to expand operations overseas, while just 53% of small-sized companies followed suit.

In terms of sectors, it is the manufacturing sector that is ‘leading the way’ internationally. 75% of manufacturing businesses plan to enter new markets abroad, while marketing and advertising, and IT companies were the next keenest – with 68% and 56% expressing interest respectively.

Regionally speaking, the report found that small firms in London are the most likely to grow overseas by 2017. It also found that small businesses in Wales are the least likely to look abroad for growth opportunities.

“Given the EU’s continuing economic travails” says Patrick Reeve, managing partner at Albion Ventures, “it’s of little surprise that other overseas markets are proving more popular”.

“Breaking into new markets is easier said than done” he did, however, add, “and all too often small firms lack the necessary expertise to overcome established competitors”.

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