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Export success for recession-era SMEs

Two thirds of exporting SMEs that were set up during the recession began exporting within their first year, research by Barclays has found.

A survey of more than 500 exporting SMEs found that 65% of those set up between 2007 and 2014 began trading internationally during their first year in business.

The survey found:

  • 43% of surveyed firms said business growth was the main driver of exports
  • 42% cited overseas demand as key for driving exports
  • 15% said UK economic decline was the main reason for deciding to export
  • 26% said they had reached their UK growth ceiling in just 1 year.

Steve Childs, head of international for SMEs at Barclays, said:

"The case for exporting is strong given the growth potential it offers. It's therefore interesting that the research shows a shift in the time when small business started their export journey, depending on the period the business was formed and against the backdrop of UK economic cycles.

"It shows that 'younger' businesses whose outlook on UK economy may have been shaken by the events following 2007 and 2008 - have set their sights on overseas horizons right from the start and making a success of this."

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