There is a new phenomenon sweeping through the world: the development of the ‘micro-national enterprise’.
From small, back street shops employing highly skilled tailors in Singapore to graphic design firms in Trinidad, the world is seeing an ‘exponential’ growth in small, local enterprises reaching new international markets making them ‘micro-national’ enterprises. Since 2009, Exponential has established a growing base of customers and partners in South Africa, Singapore, Kosovo, Mongolia, Armenia, Romania, Lithuania and many more – View Exponential Partners.
Here are ten interesting facts that business owners, managers and High Growth Coaches need to know:
- The percentage of businesses doing business overseas rose from 26% to 31% over a two year period
- More young companies are grabbing international opportunities from an early stage; almost one in five (17%) new companies currently active abroad are classified as ‘Born Global’ – so have been doing business overseas since the outset
- Around 37% of firms less than five years old report no significant barriers to doing business overseas and over a third (35%) also report significant growth due to exporting
- Almost forty per cent of companies said that exporting delivered a level of growth not otherwise possible; companies also report a significant return on investment from doing business overseas in terms of improved financial performance, higher levels of innovation and productivity
- So-called ‘innovative’ firms (those devoting resources to R&D or new product/service development) tend to benefit most from doing business abroad
- Many internationalised businesses experience a ‘virtuous circle’ where exporting leads to new innovation, and where those innovations then lead to further exporting
- Over half of all companies surveyed (53%) said that a new product or service evolved because of their business overseas
- Intellectual property protection is a valuable asset that is associated with a 10% increase in the likelihood of reporting overseas turnover for an SME
- Different barriers apply to different markets, but the most widely experienced barriers relate to the formalities and bureaucracy of doing business overseas, such as dealing with customs procedures or different legal and tax structures however one in three firms (34%) does not experience any significant barriers to doing business overseas
- Even the smallest business can benefit from becoming a ‘micro-national’ enterprise!
Export is the new ‘black’ in the world of business. Trading internationally can be exciting, rewarding and can often open up new joint ventures and business opportunities that domestic markets cannot. For instance, The Eduquest International Institute, is now delivering several of the Chartered Management Institute qualifications in Singapore having entered into a partnership with Exponential. Eduquest Director, Rafiq Mohamed, has just returned from a trip to his partners in India resulting in interest in the joint delivery of the Certificate in Management Consulting Essentials (CMCE). In 2011, Exponential delivered the CMCE to a group of consultants from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia on behalf of The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development/ TAMBAS. Just before the end of last year, the Institute of Management Consultants Armenia (IMCA) was established and Exponential is in discussions about how to develop and extend its relationship with IMCA.
The Exporting for Growth initiative was launched in November 2011 by the Prime Minister and Lord Green to boost the number of SMEs that export. The aim is to get up to 100,000 SMEs to either start exporting for the first time or spread to new markets over the next four or five years. There is a series of Exporting for Growth seminars organised by UK Trade & Investment to promote this message taking place throughout the UK ( http://www.regionalexportforgrowth.com). Exponential Director, John Moore is taking part in the East Midlands seminar on Thursday 1 March 2012.
He commented, “I am delighted to have been asked by UKTI to take part in the seminar as this is an important issue. I would stress that the message does not just apply to UK businesses: it applies to small businesses all over the world as trade is a two-way process. If you have not thought about export previously, NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME to do so!”
Source: New markets, new ideas: How exporting fosters innovation and growth, UKTI: 2012