Contacts are most valued by firms seeking to become internationally active

22 Dec 2017


  • Divya Skene
  • AIBS 2017

When we reached out to internationally-active firms to ask them to complete the AIBS 2017 survey, we also interacted with 127 firms that were not internationally-active.

Before those firms parted company with the survey, we took the opportunity to ask:

  • the reasons they were not internationally-active; and
  • the most valuable support to them, in starting to explore international opportunities.

Here are the results:

AIBS - Reasons firms were not internationally active

(Note that multiple responses were accepted for the question asking firms why they were not internationally active, so the total percentage shares will sum to more than one hundred).

Firms that were not internationally-active identified a mix of reasons – so much so, that the response "other" was the most popular selection, selected by 46 per cent of firms.

The leading identified reason, however, was a 'lack of international leads or contacts' (common to 26 per cent of respondents), followed closely by 'concentrating on scaling up domestically' (24 per cent). General uncertainty around 'how to start exploring potential opportunity' also rated highly.

AIBS - Support most values, to become internationally-active

On the question of support that would be most valued by firms to start exploring international activities, the most popular response was a 'database of potential buyers and suppliers' - with 41 per cent of all respondents selecting this option.

Access to grants (36 per cent) and business mentoring (30 per cent) were the next most popular responses.

The most valued support for companies seeking to become internationally active is typically provided by peers in the internationally active business community and related government stakeholders, with this support rated more highly than measures that transform firms themselves (bespoke consulting to assist with planning, marketing and operations, or educational courses and workshops.)