Supply chain · 18 April 2016

Small businesses rush to make the most of exporting opportunities

Exporting is GREAT week
Small businesses exporting to Europe saw revenues from the Continent increase by six per cent in 2015

New statistics released by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) have revealed that over 20,000 pitches for new business abroad have been made through the government’s Exporting is GREAT platform since it was launched in November 2015.

The figures also show that more than 6,000 exporting opportunities have been posted on the site over the same period – a sign that tentative progress is being made towards the 100,000 new exporters the government hopes that the initiative will create.

The announcement coincides with the beginning of Exporting is GREAT Week, a series of events designed to help first-time exporters reach new markets.

“We have a proud history as a trading nation. The development of digital technology has the potential to give even the smallest company a global reach and access to attractive new markets,” said trade and investment minister Lord Price.

“Exporting is GREAT Week is the perfect time to inspire companies to take advantage of the world of opportunity out there and the global demand for British products, skills and expertise,” he added.

Research conducted by business lender Everline and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) shortly before the platform went live revealed that almost one-fifth of small British firm owners plan to expand overseas in the next decade.

House of Lords trade minister Francis Maude announced in January 2016 the commencement of a new export strategy committed to boosting exports by focusing support on key industries the UK has a strong competitive advantage in.

Additional research published by Santander recently revealed that Yorkshire and Wales were the UK regions with the most impressive growth in the number of firms exporting last year, with 21 and 32 per cent growth rates respectively.

Across the UK, small businesses exporting to Europe saw revenues from the Continent increase by six per cent in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Barclays’ Business Abroad Index.

George Osborne announced a target to double the annual values of the UK’s exports to £1tn in 2012 – but the viability of the plan was questioned by an independent committee in October 2015.

Thinking about taking your first steps towards exporting? Don’t miss these handy tips.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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