European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Kiril Todorov
Chapter 10: Building Competitive Advantage in the Process of Business Growth: The Case of Bulgarian Technology-based SMEs
10. Building competitive advantages in the process of business growth: the case of Bulgarian technology-based SMEs Kiril Todorov and Iliya Kereziev INTRODUCTION Issues concerning competitiveness and development of technology-based SMEs (TBSMEs) are the subject of great interest for more and more researchers and practitioners. Nowadays the economic prosperity of countries increasingly depends on technological progress and the capacity for innovation of their economies and enterprises, including through creation and development of TBSMEs. On the other hand, creation and development of high-tech enterprises is an entrepreneurial dream for many entrepreneurs pursuing high business results and recognition, but also assuming high risk and uncertainty. At the same time, a set of reports revealed that in comparison with their main American and Asian competitors, this comparatively small – but important for Europe – group of SMEs is lagging behind with respect to business and innovation performance. Moreover, there seem to be indications that only very few technology-based enterprises in Europe experience rapid growth (European Communities, 2002). The same conclusions are valid for Bulgarian TBSMEs as well, which, in respect of their number and quality, are at an unsatisfactory level of development (Applied Research and Communications Fund, 2006). This is confirmed by statistical data. For example it is clear that low added-value industries are the main Bulgarian exporters, and just 25 per cent of total export is represented by products with a high level of processing. Furthermore, the share of exported high-tech products is very low, or even insignificant. As a result, it is not surprising...