Selling more for Britain

17 July 2012

A new House of Lords Committee on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) has today launched its inquiry into what the Government is doing to assist and promote SME exports.

SMEs provide nearly 60% of private sector employment in the UK. Considerable growth is achievable if they can take advantage of the important opportunities that international markets offer. The Committee will look at the support the Government offers to help and encourage SMEs to export. They want to get to grips with why some SMEs export successfully while others don’t.

In particular, the Committee ask:

  • What more could Government be doing to help the exports of products and services by SMEs?
  • What differentiate SMEs that export successfully and those that don’t?
  • What are risks and opportunities to SMEs exporting?
  • What barriers deter SMEs from exporting and how they can be overcome?
  • Which specific sectors, markets or types of company have the best potential for export?
  • Which other countries are particularly good at exporting?  Can the UK learn from them?

Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, Committee Chairman Lord Cope said:

“Our country can’t afford to waste the opportunity for growth that export markets provide for SMEs. Our Committee has business and political experience across a wide range of industries and want to explore the issues facing SMEs in the UK. In particular we will look at what the Government is doing to help SMEs; what is working and what isn’t.  We want the best support for SMEs trying to export.”

A video of Lord Cope talking about the new inquiry is available here.

The Committee has issued its Call for Evidence (PDF PDF 138 KB), inviting submissions from SMEs, business & industry organisations and others interested by 14 September 2012. The Committee wants particularly to hear from SMEs about what has worked or not worked for them and how more SMEs can sell more for Britain.

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