SMEs around the world are the backbone of national and local economies. They provide employment, stimulate domestic and international trade and produce goods and services used every day.
While global inflation has started to show signs of easing, rising costs, interest rates and payment practices continue to provide a difficult trading environment for SMEs around the world.
To find out in greater depth the extent to which today’s environment is impacting SMEs across different regions, in Q2 we spoke with more than 1,800 business owners and decision makers in Europe and Asia. The results of this research underpin our Global Business Monitor 2023.
“Singapore’s SMEs are the backbone of the economy and ensuring they can cope with increasing costs and inflationary pressures is a key priority. With traditional financing sources revaluating credit appetites, SMEs need to consider a range of financing options so they can maintain sustainable working capital and cashflow. This will enable them to navigate headwinds, capture opportunities and fuel their local and international aspirations.”Kenneth Tham, Managing Director - Singapore and South East Asia
Highlights from Singapore SMEs
- More than half (57%) of Singapore’s SMEs are open to exploring external financing options as they look to overcome cashflow pressures caused by delayed payments.
- Inflation and rising costs have also emerged as the top of mind challenge for SMEs in Singapore, with 51% indicating their concerns.
- Against the backdrop of coping with increasing costs and inflationary pressures, the majority of SMEs in Singapore remain optimistic (82%) about their business outlook for the reamainder of 2023 and seven in 10 (70%) expect their sales to increase in the next six months
The global picture
- In the Republic of Ireland, SMEs are hugely optimistic with 90% saying they feel confident about their prospects.
- Conversely, over a fifth (21%) of Polish SMEs lack confidence in their outlook for the remainder of this year.
- German SMEs are the most bullish in their trading expectations, with 75% anticipating that sales will grow over the coming months.
- In the UK and the Netherlands, there is greater caution, with 54% predicting only a slight increase in sales.
What is the Global Business Monitor?
The Global Business Monitor is an international survey of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across Europe and Asia, conducted by Critical Research on behalf of Bibby Financial Services.
Approximately 1,800 SME owners and decision makers were surveyed across nine countries in Q2 2023.