How to solve a problem like SME Export. By Alex Mott

International conference network

With just three weeks till the Future of Wireless International Conference, 23-24 June 2015, in partnership with UKTI,  Alex Mott explores challenges underpinning SME Export due insufficient market information. A fundamental issue the global wireless industry aims to address.

In 2014 Small to Medium Enterprises contributed to nearly half of the UK’s overall turnover but currently only around a quarter are earning revenue overseas. This reluctance to tap into the new ideas and opportunities emerging from international markets could well be damaging the UK economy as statistically one of the most effective ways to grow any business is export. Research published last year by UKTI on a sample of their clients found that 85 per cent said exporting led to a ‘level of growth not otherwise possible’ and ‘73 per cent said it had increased the commercial lifespan of their products or services’. So what is it exactly that is scaring smaller companies away from exporting?

Well there are a significant number of potential barriers. Constant daily exchange rate fluctuations can wreak havoc on the payment exporting companies ultimately receive from their sales. Many SME’s simply do not have the financial resources to compensate for this. Coping with cultural and language differences is another big issue. This is something even multinational companies have a history of failing miserably at. In the 1987 KFC launched their franchise in China with the old faithful slogan ‘finger lickin good’ but the translation into Mandarin of ‘we’ll eat your fingers off’  had perhaps slightly less than the desired impact.

What is extraordinary however is that even in the 21st century where information can be accessed and transferred at the press of a button many SME’s still maintain the number one reason they do not wish to risk exporting is insufficient market information. What is lacking it seems is the ability to gain trusted overseas contacts. This is something that Cambridge Wireless aims to combat with the Future of Wireless International Conference on June 23rd and 24th in partnership with UKTI. The conference will bring together CEO/CTO/CFO level delegates from Europe, Americas and Asia.  It is set to provide attendees with fantastic opportunities for international business networking, collaboration and export opportunities. The Innovation Hothouse and Start Up Zone during the conference offers start-ups and SME’s the chance to showcase their hottest technologies, apps, solutions and gadgets on the international tech scene.

For more information and to sign up for the Future of Wireless International Conference visit

To read UKTI’s full publication on ‘Bringing home the benefits: How to grow through exporting’ visit


About The Author

Alex Mott

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