Hadj Nekka and Alain Fayolle INTRODUCTION The purpose of this study was to highlight some of the specific aspects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) created by foreign entrepreneurs. In France, research into this subject is still in its infancy and the field is relatively new, even though the numbers of such firms are expected to increase in the coming years. For the research, a small number of in-depth cases, all SMEs in the Nord-Pas region of Calais, France, were studied empirically. The preliminary results presented here are concerned with the characteristics of the entrepreneurs and how they manage their firms. A typology is proposed and will eventually be tested on a larger sample. Research into venture creators of foreign origin is still in its infancy, and the field is relatively new in France.1 One of the main reasons for this is probably the fact that these firms currently represent only a small percentage of the general population, although their numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. The empirical research we propose here will therefore provide some much needed additional information. The study examines the conditions in which these firms emerge within their geographical and cultural environment, and the different management methods used. It is an approach that opens up some interesting prospects in the field of management science, and one we hope will enable us to explore a number of avenues, including culture as a key element in explaining success or failure, the role of the environment,...
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