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European SME Export Report

Export /import trends and behaviours of SMEs in Europe

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a fundamentally important role in Europe's economy. Indeed, the European Commission considers SMEs and entrepreneurship as “key to ensuring economic growth, innovation, job creation, and social integration in the EU”*.

Given the clear link between SME performance and overall economic outcomes in the region, it’s reassuring to see that the future looks bright.

Opportunities to sell goods overseas are increasing all the time, as even the smallest business increasingly trade online, meaning that physical size or location is no longer a barrier to doing business internationally.

As a leading provider of international shipping services to SMEs, FedEx Express recently commissioned a research study carried by Harris Interactive to increase understanding of the unique trends and challenges that SMEs face across Europe.

Research highlights include:

  • 38% of SMEs are currently ‘internationally active’ i.e. exporting products to at least one other country
  • Faster-growing SMEs (52%) are almost twice as likely to export as SMEs that are in decline or static (28%), highlighting the importance of exports for successful businesses
  • SMEs that export are typically more positive about future business performance (60% expect revenue growth in the next year) than those that do not export (48%)
  • The typical frequency of exports to European and global markets ranges between weekly and monthly - the vast majority ship less than 20 times each month
  • The average value of shipments is high, generating over €604k revenue p.a., on average, for European exports and almost €647k p.a. for exports to ‘global’ markets

Download the European SME Export Report to read more.

*Source: European Commission