UK SMEs missing out on growth potential in international trade
UK SMEs are missing out on substantial growth potential due to a lack of knowledge and guidance on exporting and importing, according to new research.
The research, which was commissioned independently by fintech lender Just Cash Flow PLC reveals that small businesses are half as likely (44%) as mid-sized businesses (92%) to consider exporting and as a result are missing out on the benefits of international trade.
The issue, which is more important than ever with Brexit approaching, stems from a lack of understanding and guidance on the topic, which in turn makes SMEs shy away from trading. Smaller businesses are five times more likely (64%) to experience barriers to importing and exporting than mid-sized businesses (11%) with the biggest barriers cited being lack of knowledge of foreign markets, confusion over systems and protocols and lack of guidance from their banking provider.
New partnership will broaden access to our training and qualifications
To help bridge the knowledge gap, Just Cashflow has announced a partnership with the Institute of Export and International Trade, which will give their customers access to the industry body’s world-class suite of training and qualifications, as well as advice and expertise on best practices.
The move demonstrates Just Cashflow’s commitment to helping SMEs grow; nearly half of SMEs (44%) say they feel frustrated about not knowing who to turn to about exporting goods and services and subsequent issues, and one in six (16%) of SMEs say they would have liked to have had guidance on importing and exporting from their business bank when they started out.
John Davies, CEO and Founder of Just Cashflow, commented:
“We are committed to helping well-run SMEs invest and grow. Our research, as well as our own observations in speaking to our customers has shown that there is a clear knowledge gap amongst SMEs when it comes to international trading which is hindering their growth.
“We strongly believe that banks and lenders such as ourselves have more of a responsibility than just providing finance to their customers. This is especially true as more uncertainty around Brexit unfolds, which is why we feel it is necessary to provide more guidance on the topic.
“Our partnership with the Institute of Export and International Trade means we can tap into their expertise and in doing so, help give our customers the skills and confidence needed to export and trade successfully.”
Lesley Batchelor, Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade, commented:
“We know that everything in international trade takes a significantly longer time than in the local market, which makes planning and managing cash flow a vital element of the process. This is a key focus area in our qualifications and training to help ensure businesses are not caught short.
“We welcome Just Cashflow and their innovative solutions for SMEs as corporate partners and look forward to working with them to ensure global traders can trade freely without the concerns of transactions to hinder their growth.”