Chapter 12: Micro-global: Can Web-enabled Microenterprises Successfully Internationalize?
J. Mark Munoz and Daewon Choi INTRODUCTION Microenterprises are small business units, that are owner-managed, with few employees, capital and resource constrained, and with gross sales of under $25 000 per year (Tezler, 1992; Langer et al., 1999; Tinker, 2000). These business units proliferate in many parts of the world, and are significant contributors to national economies (Carbonara, 1997; Hernandez-Trillo et al., 2005; Daniels and Mead, 1998). In emerging nations such as Cape Verde, microenterprises constitute about 50 percent of employment (Baptista et al., 2006). Alongside microenterprise expansion, globalization led to extensive utilization of technologies and web-enabled business systems that spurred efficiencies and facilitated internationalization (Friedman, 2005). Market factors, technology, and transport and communication efficiencies empowered corporate platforms that drive the proliferation of born-global firms (Madsen and Servais, 1997). This chapter explores microenterprise literature, revisits internationalization paradigms, and discusses considerations in microenterprise internationalization. Through research and analysis, the authors identify viable strategies that may be utilized by small firms and nation states in seizing global opportunities. Aside from entrepreneurs, the study would be valuable to think-tanks, international organizations, government entities, and policymakers as they identify innovative approaches to support enterprise activity. MICROENTERPRISE CHARACTERISTICS AND ENVIRONMENT In the contemporary society, ventures with limited capital and resources pursue creative approaches in order to survive and grow. Many establish 140 Micro-global: can web-enabled microenterprises internationalize? 141 microenterprises and engage in street vending, retailing, and trading to sell products or services for income and asset expansion (Eversole, 2004). Many small ventures leverage competencies, technologies,...
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