I was pleased to have access last year to a QuoteSearcher [a niche insurance specialist] commissioned poll, by YouGov, gauging the attitudes of the SME [Small & Medium Enterprise] business sector to the EU Referendum.
I reported on that poll HERE. Among the poll’s findings of 683 SME businesses, it revealed a split in attitudes to leaving the EU based upon the entrepreneurs age. Where those aged under 35 seeing it having a negative effect on their customer relationships, not reflected in older entrepreneurs who said it would have no effect.
Below are some of the key learnings from the data, including information on how SME decision makers perceive the EU, whether worldwide exports are important to such businesses and whether the government’s Exporting is Great campaign is having the desired effect.
- 64% of respondents cited Europe as the most profitable potential partner, with 31% also saying that the EU offers ‘a lot’ of trade opportunity. Respondents also stated that North America and Asia Pacific could also be profitable trading regions for SMEs, rated by 50% and 48% of respondents respectively.
- 30% of SMEs feel that regulatory and/or legal issues are the biggest barriers to exporting abroad.
- The Goverment’s “Exporting is Great” campaign to promote trade isn’t doing so great.
- 23% of respondents who work in the IT & Telecoms industry and 19% of respondents who work in the Media/Marketing industry think that ‘language barriers’ is the biggest barrier to exporting abroad.
- 20% of decision makers from Small Enterprises said they ‘don’t know’ how much, if any, trade opportunity the EU currently offers UK-based SMEs.
- Male and female SME decision makers have differing opinions on the biggest barriers to exporting their products and/or services abroad.
I’ll look into each of findings in detail over the coming days.