U.K. small business receives a staggering return on its Internet investment reveals independent research published recently. Far from supporting recent reports that weak economic conditions have resulted in a crash in SME investment, these figures demonstrate that not only is the U.K. SME community continuing to drive innovation forward, it is already experiencing real results.

Nearly 70 percent of small businesses in the U.K. have invested in the Internet, underlining the argument that in a difficult economic climate it is even more important to plan for the future, regardless of short-term uncertainties. Over the last two years, each company has spent approximately £4.8k on developing Internet-enabled systems for their organization.

Figures show that the return on this investment has been staggering:

  • Each company is saving up to 5 man-hours per day by using the Internet and Internet-enabled systems.
  • Based on the average hourly wage this equates to a potential saving of £14.5k per company per year.
  • On average, each U.K. SME gains a return over three times greater than initial investment.
  • The total man-hour saving for the SME community each year over 378 million.
  • This equates to a financial saving of over £4 billion for UK SMEs each year.

Commissioned by Britain's biggest business and technology event, Internet World 2003, it examines how U.K. small enterprise has embraced the Internet over recent years and casts light on the exponential benefits of further investment.

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