Abstract

Internationally active SMEs experience stronger growth rates and exporting SMEs tend to be more profitable than those merely active domestically. The decision by SME managers to internationalize is an entrepreneurial act. Geographical market expansion (by opening up new markets) and venturing into international markets (as pursuing opportunities) are consistent with different definitions of entrepreneurship. Yet, firm-level entrepreneurship of established SMEs in international markets still lacks theoretical understanding and empirical investigation.

This paper contributes to the body of knowledge at the entrepreneurship-internationalization interface by applying the opportunity-based conceptualization of entrepreneurship initially developed by Stevenson to the venturing of SMEs into new foreign markets. Following the subsequent operationalization by Brown et al. (2001), this conceptualization of firm-level entrepreneurship is gauges firm-level opportunity-based behavior, which is at the heart of SMEs expanding into new international markets.

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