It was revealed during Export Week last month that if SMEs led by women exported at the same rate as the average of small businesses, the number of exporters in the UK would rise by 100,000.
According to statistics, the percentage of women-led businesses exporting was only 13% in 2012, compared with 19% for all SMEs.
Is export a man’s world? No!!
So what is it that makes women in business reluctant to branch out into overseas markets?
It was suggested that some of the key barriers to women exporting include lack of access to finance, not having the mind-set to move into exports and not having the necessary business contacts and experience.
A further perceived barrier could be cultural issues, but in fact none of these reasons should deter female SME owners or leaders from grasping the growth potential available to their business via export.
Indeed, UKTI were keen during Export Week to highlight the fact that none of these factors need be an issue for entrepreneurs. They held a series of Women in International Business Forums with all-femael panel sessions with a view to breaking down these barriers and encouraging women to start exporting.
There are, of course, already some very successful female entrepreneurs, many of whom are UKTI Export Champions, but there is plenty of scope for more women-led businesses to realise their export potential.
Another key focus of Export Week was encouraging businesses already exporting to expand into new markets. If every current exporter in the UK achieved this, it would go a long way towards meeting the Government’s target to double exports to £1 trillion by 2020.
So how can female entrepreneurs overcome the perceived barriers set out above? By linking with a partner company, like Kazopp, which already has experience and knowledge in country, the process of getting started in export can seem a lot less daunting. With already established contacts and business relationships, a partner can help to get products or services to market in the quickest time possible. This can save potential exporters months or years of research and groundwork, having to get to grips with local regulatory and tax requirements and other work that would otherwise be necessary to get started and which often puts business owners off pursuing growth in export markets. With the right advice, companies can also avoid the prospect of making mistakes early in their export journey into a new country.
If you like the idea of bringing your products or services straight to a vast new market, get in touch – we have nearly twenty years of experience of running and helping business in Kazakhstan with a vast array of contacts and advice to help your SME hit the ground running!