Three Quarters of Small Businesses Missing Out on Export Opportunities

Small Business and Export Opportunities – A Missed Chance?


ContainersFollowing my series on tendering as a low risk introduction to export for small UK and Ireland firms, a short and interesting article* highlights some of this missed potential for small firms on export opportunities.

The recent Winning Tenders Academy series indicates the potential of export, yet the article suggests that few small firms are actually engaged in export. So why might this be? In a soon to be released series of articles, the Winning Tenders Academy will explore some of the barriers to small firms winning contracts including contracts outside of the domestic market.


Interestingly these barriers don’t affect all firms equally with our research pointing to considerable differences in success rates and confidence based, particularly, on business size, sector and even whether the business is male or female led.
This is fascinating and insightful research that suggests significant disparities exist in the confidence, capability and capacity of different small business ‘types’ to win contracts through tendering. The results, to some degree, might explain some of the limitations on small business engagement in export identified in the article.
Understanding these barriers is the first step in addressing them and this will be something I look forward to describing in the planned series.

Why is this important? Well, in simple terms there is huge untapped potential for small businesses in tendering for contracts – both domestically and outside of the home market. This includes opportunities for firms of all sizes from large corporate organisations through to micro-enterprises and sole-traders. The key is to identify opportunities and to overcome the obstacles. The good news is, it is possible to do exactly that.