This research studies the impact of entrepreneur’s characteristics, entrepreneur’s network, firm capabilities, and firm competitive advantages on the internationalization of new and older firms. The context to study this phenomenon is indigenous entrepreneurship. Indigenous peoples are commonly among the most vulnerable segments of society. From this perspective, indigenous people might perceive the context as a liability. However, the indigenous context provides entrepreneurs with culture-specific values and skills that can be leveraged in the marketplace. The current study adds the notion of entrepreneur’s identity rooted in culture-specific values as a source of competitive advantage that can aid in internationalization.

This study uses a unique dataset of Aboriginal businesses in Canada developed by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. The dataset includes data collected in the 2011 Aboriginal Business Survey, which is based on a telephone survey conducted with a representative sample of 1,095 self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit small business owners.