By Daniel Hunter

More than 3,000 medium-sized businesses (MSBs) are now receiving government support to break into new markets overseas, Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced today (Wednesday).

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government department that helps UK companies succeed globally, has increased the number of MSBs assisted from 1,000 to 3,000 in the past year. Encouraging more MSBs to export is a vital part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to create jobs and reduce the deficit.

Lord Livingston said: “Medium sized businesses can be the driving force of the UK economy. By trebling the number receiving support from UKTI to over 3,000, we are helping to create jobs and growth across the UK.

“Exporting is not just for large firms and UKTI’s tailored programmes can help British MSBs to compete with the best the rest of the world has to offer.”

MSBs play a vital role in the economy — despite making up just 0.5% of all businesses in the UK, they currently account for around a fifth of employment and 25% of turnover in the UK. This contribution is set to grow and according to Confederation of British Industry estimates, it could be worth up to £50 billion to the UK economy by 2020.

Simon Moore, CBI International Director, said: “Our medium sized businesses contribute a huge amount to the British economy and their export performance will be crucial to our prosperity in the next five years and beyond.

“We have worked hard to unlock this growth potential, so it’s good to see Government providing more support to help these types of businesses improve their export performance.

“It’s imperative Government and other businesses continue to help MSBs sell their products and services into high-growth markets around the world.”