New survey unveils strong M&A confidence among European SME entrepreneurs

New survey unveils strong M&A confidence among European SME entrepreneurs

From the start-up hubs in Copenhagen through the industrial strongholds of Antwerp to the thriving metropolis of Hamburg, European entrepreneurs in the SME segment face a relentless challenge: adapting to sudden societal and economic shifts. And for the past years, this is what they have been doing continuously. But how do they look at the future?

We recently conducted a comprehensive study which has unveiled a sense of confidence and the adoption of forward-looking strategies among European SME entrepreneurs. This study, the Marktlink Monitor, covers 1,066 entrepreneurs across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and the Nordics, and provides invaluable insights into their expectations for the M&A market.

Survey unveils resilience and optimism

The survey highlights the remarkable resilience and optimism displayed by entrepreneurs all over Europe. Despite certain hurdles, such as higher interest rates and constrained financing options, an impressive 34 per cent of Dutch entrepreneurs firmly believe that the Dutch M&A market will continue to flourish in the coming year. Notably, their optimism extends further, with 78 per cent of Dutch entrepreneurs harbouring ambitious plans to acquire a business within the next five years.

SME entrepreneurs in Belgium radiate optimism with 63 per cent of Belgian respondents finding this an opportune moment to buy a business. Interestingly, there’s a major difference between entrepreneurs in Flanders and Wallonia. For example, 76 per cent of Flemish entrepreneurs think it’s the right time to buy a business compared to 40 per cent of Wallonian entrepreneurs.

In the UK, SME entrepreneurs are proving their mettle. Half of all respondents feel that now is a good time to buy a company, despite the challenges they have faced. At the same time, only 28 per cent of SME entrepreneurs believe that current conditions favour selling a company, though optimism for future improvements is unmistakably on the ascent.

German SME entrepreneurs exude confidence in the market, with 51 per cent thinking it is an excellent time to buy a company. This shows a lot of optimism, trust in the national economy and a readiness to make strategic business decisions.

Danish entrepreneurs reveal a sense of urgency, with one in five having thought about selling their company. However, they also harbour faith in market growth, with 26 per cent thinking it will improve in the coming years.

Looking ahead: seize the momentum

As our survey reveals, SME entrepreneurs in Europe are eager to tap into the momentum of the current M&A market. They possess a clear vision for the future of their businesses, and their strategies are contingent on various factors, including market conditions and future trends. Each country exhibits unique short-term and mid-to-long-term outlooks. However, the decision to buy or sell a company is no small feat and a proper evaluation is key if such a decision is to lead to a move with maximum potential.

Ready to take the next step?

Marktlink supports you. We stand by your side, whether you are considering a sale or planning an expansion – locally or internationally. Our M&A experts are ready to advise you, helping you realize your ambitions.

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