According to new research from HedgeFlows, a leading fintech platform, of 500 UK SME owners, nearly three quarters of UK SMEs (70%) have abandoned plans for international expansion due to sky-high trading costs.
The survey was conducted by independent polling agency Censuswide in April 2023 and the research quizzed industry chiefs about their plans for expansion, ambitions for the year ahead and concerns around the economy.
What Are the Man Barriers for Businesses Looking to Expand Globally?
Resources & Training
Resources and training were cited as a barrier to international trade. 68% of those asked said that they feel their business lacks the tech infrastructure to operate in international markets. Meanwhile, 72% said that their company does not have the capabilities to manage foreign payments. SME owners were also concerned around a lack of skills for expansion, with 65% saying they lacked the financial expertise to open an office overseas.
Company owners felt their bank could do more to help. 72% of business owners said their bank provides very limited support around international payments. Plus, 72%said that transfer fees are too high and should be reduced for SMEs.
A total of 70% said that financial predictability is critical for their business, a factor which has reduced enthusiasm for international expansion.
SMEs are the beating heart of the UK economy, creating jobs and driving crucial growth in uncertain times. It’s absurd that so many of our most ambitious and fast-growing businesses feel unable to expand internationally due to a lack of support and access to the tools they need to grow.Neh Thaker, HedgeFlows co-founder
The HedgeFlows platform is designed to enable SMEs to grow and compete internationally by easily managing financial risks and complexities of trading in foreign currencies.