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date: 21 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

International expansion by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has long been a subject of research. The fact that internationalization begins earlier in a firm's life cycle has attracted attention to international new ventures as ‘a business organization that, from inception, seeks to derive significant competitive advantage from the use of resources and the sale of outputs in multiple countries’, ‘early internationalizers’, and ‘born global firms’. This article analyzes the internationalization of SMEs and examines the role of entrepreneurship in the literature. McDougall and Oviatt define international entrepreneurship as ‘a combination of innovative proactive and risk-seeking behaviour that crosses national borders and is intended to create value in organizations’. This definition provides a wide scope for research but also poses problems in terms of the level of the analysis and difficulties with respect to outcomes that are so far unresolved.

Keywords: international expansion, foreign direct investment, small-size enterprises, medium-size enterprises, internationalization, value creation

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