More SMEs looking abroad for growth

A new report produced by a leading bank group has found that the number of businesses looking to expand internationally has doubled in the last year.

The 2014 Business Growth survey, conducted by Santander Corporate & Commercial group, found that around 6 per cent of the business owners thought the ultimate aim for their business was to expand internationally.

This figure has doubled from the amount of businesses keen to expand in the last two years, when 3 per cent of businesses said that their ultimate goal was to expand internationally and benefit from exports and foreign trade.

While only a small amount of SMEs surveyed said that international expansion was the ultimate aim for their business, around 22 per cent of firms aiming for an annual turnover of more than £5 million said they were looking to take their business overseas.

However, despite setting this goal, the majority (57 per cent) of these businesses did not have capacity to accept online payments; while more than a quarter (26 per cent) of the firms committed to expanding internationally, lacked a website able to support their growth abroad.

In response to the findings managing director of SME Banking at Santander, Marcelino Castrillo, said there was a growing appetite among UK business to expand to other countries and seize the benefits that can come from international trade.

“However, it is also clear that a number of UK businesses may be unnecessarily hindering these opportunities, and here it is important to seek out advice and support from a trusted business partner,” he added.

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