Recent data has revealed that UK SMEs are diversifying the markets they export to, showing signs of a healthy future post-Brexit for many companies.
An analysis of over 1,000 small and medium businesses showed that 25 percent are investigating exports to new countries in the next quarter of business. The figures reveal that many UK SMEs are taking the protracted Brexit negotiations – and associated uncertainty – in their stride, and looking outside of the EU for new opportunities.
Positivity among smaller businesses has also seen a sharp increase. The new data shows that 30 percent of smaller concerns are positive about growing their international business, up a full 5 percent from the last quarter of 2017.
Imports and exports have remained strong for SMEs outside the European Union, with the Chinese and American markets solid. At the same time, seven out of ten of the markets that saw strong growth for UK SMEs were outside the EU, namely Russia, Turkey, the UAE, Norway, Singapore, Indonesia and Morocco.
The data outlines a picture of proactive, forward-looking attitudes on the part of UK SMEs, whilst the country waits for post-Brexit trading conditions to become clear. Rather than stand pat while negotiations grind on, businesses are seeking out new opportunities worldwide. Many are taking advantage of fluctuating exchange rates, which has made goods and services from Britain more attractive to international buyers. This seems to be acting as a powerful motivator for small business leaders to engage more deeply with international markets. The media and marketing and farming sectors have seen optimism rise sharply in particular.
Speaking about the new research and emerging opportunities, Kennedy Zvenyika, Managing Director of small business loans provider, GIC Capital said: “This is great news for UK SMEs. There has been a lot of concern about the long-term impact of Brexit, but it looks like the nation’s smaller businesses are taking matters into their own hands and creating their own opportunities.
“Despite how slowly Brexit negotiations are going, there is a feeling among SMEs that the global opportunities are there – they just need to be found.
“We know now that the future calls for a diverse, forward-looking approach, and UK SMEs seem to be embracing this.
“With that being said, businesses do still need support. This needs to come from government and through investment. SMEs still need robust growth investment in order to compete and expand. They need good advice from lenders and government sources to make new markets as accessible as possible. We’re seeing a big up-swing in SME needs for expansion capital. Overall, the signs are very encouraging.”
With much work still to do in post-Brexit negotiations, there is still a lot of uncertainty about what is to come. For now, however, SMEs in the UK are putting their best foot forward and working to secure their futures.
(Source: GIC Capital)