The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Hamid Etemad, Tage Koed Madsen, Erik S. Rasmussen and Per Servais
Introduction: the emergence of international entrepreneurship (IE) and its agents – selected issues
The popular emergence of the concepts ‘Born Global’ and ‘International New Ventures’ can be traced back to business and consulting reports in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the decade of the 1980s, the richness, diversity and appeal of international markets to smaller and younger firms became apparent and the report of their efforts appeared in the popular business press. For example, the business press featured articles on smaller American firms surging ahead in international markets or small firms and big exports in the early 1990s (Loane 2005). A consulting study for the Australian Manufacturing Council (McKinsey & Co. 1993) pointed to a pattern of systemic international activities of a large number of smaller Australian exporters and Rennie (1993) reported on a large number of smaller Australian firms that had engaged in substantive exporting in the early stages of their lifespan and called them ‘Born Globals’, which is viewed as a conceptual milestone. In an editorial piece, Cavusgil (1994) referred to the ‘Born Global’ phenomenon as a ‘quiet revolution’ in scholarly international business. The early contributions of Oviatt and McDougall (1994), Knight and Cavusgil (1996) and Knight (1997) introduced and examined some aspects of the emerging phenomenon of smaller firms’ internationalization.