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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

Initiative Launched To Turbocharge UK Exports


A new private sector-backed initiative is set to turbocharge the UK’s SMEs to increase their footprint and exporting power.


Over the next 12 months, the Enterprise Nation Go Global scheme aims to offer targeted guidance to 100,000 SMEs, supported by leading international banking firm Santander UK, accountancy firm Deloitte and the content collaboration platform Dropbox.


The programme aims to unlock the global ambition of SMEs and smaller businesses with high quality resources, e-learning modules, trade events, mentoring and advice tailored to support growing businesses.


The launch follows research that found that if UK exports had rebounded as strongly as Germany’s following the pandemic, it would be exporting $111bn more than is it now.


Access All Areas: Markets report from small business support platform Enterprise Nation and The Entrepreneurs Network found that even if the UK had simply kept pace with other G7 countries, it would be exporting $65bn more.


Emma Jones, CBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “We know from our own research that the UK has dramatically fallen behind other G7 countries in its exporting capabilities. Go Global is about reigniting the UK’s appetite to export and ensure that Britain’s SMEs have the best conditions possible to flourish on the international stage."


“We know that exporting, whether it be a product or a digital service, is a significant driver of productivity and growth. But many tell us they can’t find one single place to find what they need, or when they do find information, it’s over complicated and patchy."


“This international focus on trade is about taking the lead and helping the SME community to confidently access new territories and markets with all the tools they need.”


Providing SMEs with the tools they need to make the most of these global opportunities and boost the UK economy is something that Santander UK is passionate about and uniquely placed to support with, thanks to its new Santander Navigator platform. The platform is a one-stop-shop for businesses to grow internationally and offers support end-to-end, bringing together the bank's global ecosystem of solution providers, market insights, regulatory information in addition to freight and customs solutions and the means to access talent together all in a single place.


John Carroll, Head of International & Transactional Banking, Santander UK said: “It’s clear international trade is a significant growth driver for businesses that are already active internationally and is arguably even more so for those that aren’t yet but want to be."


“We’re delighted to be working with Enterprise Nation on the Go Global initiative. We have already supported over a thousand businesses into a new market overseas since 2019, and we firmly believe that our unique international network, together with the knowledge and expertise of our teams, can make a real difference to many more, as well as to the wider UK economy.”


Andy Wilson, Director at Dropbox, said: “As businesses look to expand and grow, one of the common challenges we see is around tech adoption. It can be difficult to implement tools and platforms that will grow with your business, but being digitally savvy and having the right productivity and collaboration suite is a key competitive advantage. Especially as SMEs look to scale and work internationally, having a digital-first mindset and the right technology suite will be critical."


“The technology landscape can be complex, and it is difficult to know where to start. However, we are thrilled to bring our advice and guidance in partnership with Enterprise Nation, to support SMEs on their journey. We are extremely pleased to play a part in the Go Global initiative and look forward to empowering and supporting small businesses from across the UK.”


Lucie Swiestowska, Supply Chain, Deloitte UK said: ‘We are incredibly excited to extend and collaborate across networks in this space; to support, understand and facilitate trade from the UK. We intend to bring our global network to be a part of this, and fully engage with the social value benefits this can provide to SMEs across the UK. Our work with Enterprise Nation is particularly exciting in allowing us to bring a number of skills, experiences and new faces to the market, in supporting new and growing businesses to achieve their international trade aims.”


Studies show the economic benefits of exporting extend beyond productivity. Survey evidence of SMEs across 33 European countries found that SMEs which export are more than three times as likely to introduce new products or services than those which do not.


Import and export are key drivers of productivity and growth. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show UK businesses which declare international trade in goods can be around a fifth more productive on average than similar firms which are non-traders, even when you factor in firm size, industry and ownership status.


But SMEs find red tape frustrating and clear advice in short supply. Go Global will also offer candidates simple downloadable territory guides, advice on how to collaborate and work with partners around the world as businesses grow and regulations in an easy-to-understand format.


The resources are free to access for SMEs and can be found here


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