Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, believes 2018 will see significant growth in the export activity of small businesses.
Australia’s International Business Survey 2017, commissioned by the Export Council of Australia with support from Austrade, Efic and UTS, reflects the opinions of 941 firms from 19 sectors undertaking international activities in more than 90 overseas markets.
“Australia is seeing increased growth in exports and small businesses are leading the way,” Carnell said. “Nearly 88% of Australian exporters are small-medium enterprises. An increasing number of firms are ‘born global’, which means they’re exporting at the very beginning.”
The survey findings also showed that showed two thirds of respondents expected future sales revenue to increase. In agriculture and wholesaling, two thirds of businesses believe the outlook is better than the previous two years.
Further, just over one third of respondents had applied for finance, however nearly 40% of these were unsuccessful.
Carnell said this illustrates the challenge for small businesses to obtain capital from traditional banks, which require property as security.
“It’s great that more entrepreneurs are getting started with exports, but rapidly growing small businesses need sources of finance that don’t require putting the family home on the line,” she added.