Research suggests 'less than a quarter' of UK SMEs plan to expand overseas

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26 Apr 2019

Research carried out by DocuSign has found that just 22% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) plan to expand their business beyond the UK.

SMEs stated that the most significant barriers to growth include a lack of available finance, a lack of inexperience and large amounts of red tape.

The survey of 1,000 small business owners also suggested that a 'perceived deficiency' in skills is 'holding them back'. The skills owners most regret not having are accounting and finance skills (22%) and IT and digital skills (19%).

Furthermore, the research revealed that confidence levels amongst SMEs have 'plummeted' as a result of trade uncertainty facing the UK.

'Growing a business across borders is challenging, particularly in times of macro-economic uncertainty,' said Ronan Copeland, Vice President of Commercial Sales at DocuSign.

'As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are focusing their efforts on the UK. Confidence plays a big part, and this is borne out by the results of our latest survey.'