Global business leaders rate the UK as a place to do business, but lack of innovation and businesses' inability to sing their own praises is stopping the country from reaching its full potential, according to research out today.
More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of the over 1,300 business leaders surveyed by Barclays felt the UK is a great place start and grow a business.
In particular, almost four out of five (79 per cent) of those polled felt the UK's vibrant startup scene is an important global growth area for entrepreneurs, and a similar proportion (82 per cent) would consider investing in a UK startup.
The recent vote to depart from the EU has done little to hamper outlook, as slightly less than two-thirds (61 per cent) added that Brexit would not impact how they dealt with the UK's entrepreneurs.
When asked what they thought of Brits, those surveyed jumped to describe them as "reliable" (53 per cent), "smart" (50 per cent) and "polite" (50 per cent).
However, global business leaders were much less likely to see the UK's entrepreneurs as "passionate" (29 per cent), "inspiring" (29 per cent) and "driven" (37 per cent), and, although they may well appreciate having the door held open for them, 62 per cent of overseas business leaders think UK entrepreneurs are too polite.
Around half (47 per cent) said they would like British entrepreneurs to show greater differentiation and innovation in products before they increase they amount they trade with them, while 47 per cent thought UK businesses could increase their face-to-face communication and 45 per cent would like to see stronger digital skills from their UK trading partners.
Meanwhile, just under a third (30 per cent) thought Silicon Roundabout, the home of cutting-edge UK tech, was a sitcom, suggesting businesses need to do more to put themselves forward onto the global stage. By comparison, 87 per cent had heard of the US' Silicon Valley.
"Policy makers and the wider industry have an important role in boosting the reputation of UK enterprise," said Richard Heggie, head of high growth and entrepreneurs at Barclays. "Our findings show that improved digital, innovation and communication skills will increase trade by almost a third.
"As a recognised global hub for high growth businesses, we must do all we can to declare we are open for business for these economic dynamos."