A survey of 410 directors of small medium scale enterprises (SMEs) from G7 and BRICS countries has revealed that firms with an international market reach have a double chance of being successful compared to those operating on the domestic market.
BRICS is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
According to the DHL Express study released Wednesday, international trade and cooperation has become a key driver of small business success globally.
The survey revealed that 26 percent of the companies that traded internationally significantly outperformed their market compared to 13 percent for those whose operations were limited to domestic markets.
SMEs in Africa with an international outlook had access to new markets, technology, and a diversified market for their products and services.
"While no verified data is available around the number of SMEs operating on the continent, they make up over 90 percent of formalised business within countries like Ghana and South Africa, and are important areas of development within Ghana," it noted.
DHL Express Ghana general manager Kader Coulibaly said opportunities provided by new technologies, the Internet, and modern transportation services meant SMEs had greater access to foreign markets.
"With thorough research and a well-defined strategy, local SMEs can successfully expand into new markets, compete with larger companies, and use their size and nimbleness to their own advantage," he said.
The majority of SMEs that out-performed their markets over the last three years also planned to increase their exports despite the uncertain economic environment.
But the companies were concerned about lack of information on foreign markets and high customs duties.
"There are clearly still some hurdles that remain for small businesses with global aspirations, but we are delighted to see that more and more SMEs are looking at the fantastic opportunity that international trade represents," said DHL Express chief executive officer Ken Allen.
DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry.