How many SMEs in the UK do business with Europe? Please help! :-?
Thread poster: IngaKri
Apr 20, 2012

Hi everyoneicon_smile.gif

My name is Inga and I am a final year degree student in Business & Management at Bournemouth University. I am currently writing an assignment for one of my modules called "Starting a business" where I (who would have guessed that) have to open my own business (on paper). I am not planning on doing this in real life but having studied Translation and Interpreting in Germany (English, Spanish), the business I chose to open is a small translation business. I am not currently planning to do this in real life, neither do I think that I have the qualification or experience to do so but it is a good exercise and might be helpful later in life.

Now one part of the business plan I have to write is the market research where I need to provide some information about my target market/customers. My lecturer wants me to narrow down my potential market as much as possible. So I had to chose a "customer group" and I decided to provide translations for small and medium sized UK companies.

Having identified my target market as such, I now need to provide numbers of UK based small to medium businesses (the industry the operate in is not relevant) that conduct trade (import and export) with Germany, Spain etc.

I am having a hard time finding relevant data and I was hoping that someone might be able to point me in the right direction as to where I can find data or provide me with information how you as a translator would go/have gone on about the topic.

Any help would be much appreciated!
I fully recognize that it is a friday afternoon and that this is a non-business related request, nevertheless, I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a very nice weekend all of you!

Best regards,

[Edited at 2012-04-21 08:21 GMT]


Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:25
Italian to English
To start with Apr 20, 2012

A brief internet search (a vital skill for translators incidentally) reveals that:

one in five UK SMEs are exporting, compared with the European average of one in four.

There were an estimated 4.8 million private sector enterprises in the UK at the start of 2009 (the latest statistics) and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) together accounted for 99.9 per cent of all enterprises.

The European Commission statistics show fewer than 1.6 million UK SMEs, but "it should be taken into account that the SME data presented is based on registered SMEs; the UK has the highest VAT threshold in the EU and therefore a large number of SMEs operate below the VAT threshold."

I can't quickly find anything on importers but hope this helps to start with.


Thank you Apr 21, 2012

Dear Russell,

Thank you very much for your help. I guess with all the work I must have lost the focus and just looked for the wrong things. I will keep looking but for now this is a good starting point.

Best regards


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How many SMEs in the UK do business with Europe? Please help! :-?

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