Chapter 1: Introduction
Edited by Joseph Mark S. Munoz
J. Mark Munoz The contemporary global business environment has transformed business modalities in many ways. Breakthroughs in telecommunication and related technologies have sped up cross-border communication and the acquisition of information. Innovations in transport and logistics have made international travel more convenient and faster, and expedited the movement of goods. International trade agreements and country policies have made many foreign locations attractive investment destinations. The Internet paved the way for the emergence of new and creative business models such as e-commerce, virtualization, outsourcing and many more. Amidst this landscape, numerous challenges exist. Global enterprises are experiencing heightened competition. Companies need to perform optimally and leverage the highest-quality products and services at the lowest possible price. Furthermore, businesses have to confront and respond to external international factors such as oil prices, financial crisis, security issues, and trade accords, among others. In the contemporary environment businesses need constantly to evolve, innovate, and reconfigure their organizations to survive and succeed. For instance, the global financial meltdown in 2008 led many business organizations to cope by expanding sales, lowering costs, and enhancing quality with little or no additional capital resources. Businesses that could not find the optimal operational mix ended up on a route towards bankruptcy. The tough global environment requires small and medium-sized enterprises, private corporations, and even governments to re-examine existing models and seek out viable operational forms. A model worth exploring is the “microenterprise.” These are very small business units that have existed from the very early stages of business evolution....