Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Steve Purdham
Laura Tenison
Tony Caldeira
Debbie Pierce
Charlie Mullins
Jeremy Roberts
Julie Meyer
Michael Oliver
Brian Hay
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock
Jennie Johnson

UK SMEs 'driving export growth'

More than 63 per cent of British small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are exporting and making a significant contribution to rising international trade by taking advantage of declines in the value of the pound, according to new research.

The FedEx SMEs Export Report shows export revenues contribute 59 per cent of these SMEs' total revenues, with a third predicting revenue growth to increase over the next 12 months.

Eighty-six per cent of exporting SMEs trade within Europe and 63 per cent export further afield. The USA is the top export market outside Europe, with 38 per cent firms doing business there.

The digital economy is seen as an essential enabler allowing SMEs to take advantage of international opportunities, with many increasingly embracing new technology and processes. Chief amongst these is e-commerce, which has already proven its worth as a serious driver of growth - more than eight in ten (81 per cent) of exporting SMEs generate revenue through this platform and almost a third (30 per cent) have reported increased revenues over the last 12 months.

"SMEs have once again shown that they can act as the guiding light for Britain as it enters its new economic chapter," said Ed Clarke, managing director, UK Ground Operations, FedEx Express.

"It's promising to see exports could be having a positive impact on the UK economy. To continue this upward momentum, governments and businesses across the world should play an increasingly important role to align SMEs exporting ambitions with the digital economy - providing more opportunities to reach new markets and customers."

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.