Exporting and innovation performance: analysis of the Annual Small Business Survey in the UK

Dolores Añón Higón, Nigel Driffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper analyses the determinants of the export propensity of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based on the 2004 Annual Small Business Survey. Particular emphasis is placed upon the relationship between innovation activities (distinguishing product from process innovation) and export performance. In general the data suggest that some 17 per cent of firms within this group sell outside the UK. Businesses that export are also characterized by high levels of innovation activity (43 per cent of exporters innovate in products, 27 per cent innovate in process and 21 per cent innovate in both). When considering product and process innovation independently we find that both impact positively on the decision to export. However, once we consider the interdependence between both innovation activities, we find no robust evidence that process innovation increases the probability to export beyond product innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-24
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • export
  • UK
  • small enterprises
  • medium-sized enterprises
  • SMEs
  • 2004 Annual Small Business Survey
  • innovation activities
  • export performance
  • process innovation
  • product innovation


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