Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship

Towards a Theory of Internationalization

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten

This unique Handbook illustrates how entrepreneurs across Europe tackle internationalization. This timely and important book identifies patterns and builds a theory of international entrepreneurship in Europe.
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Chapter 18: The Internationalization of Hungarian SMEs

László Kállay and Imre Lengyel


László Kállay and Imre Lengyel Hungary has a small open economy that, after the political change in 1989 and 1990, joined the EU in 2004, following a transition period. With its transition economy having transformed from a planned into a market economy, the country’s special situation is characterized by the termination of the planned economy, the swift emergence of a market economy and the high rate of newly established small enterprises. Two phases may be distinguished in Hungary’s transition economy and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises after 1989–90: the early and advanced phase in the development of the market economy. The early phase began in 1989, when it became obvious both from an economic and political aspect that the Hungarian economy had ultimately stopped being a planned economy and the development of the institutions of a market economy occurred. The radically fast and spectacular structural transformation of the economy took place in the early phase. The advanced phase of the transition economy started in 1997 and ended in 2004 with the country’s accession to the EU. The importance of SMEs was recognized in the early 1990s in Hungary, too, various assistance programmes were launched and different enterprise development organizations were formed. In order to deal with the special problems of Hungarian SMEs typical in transition economies, various government decrees were born; the law on SMEs and the support of their development came into force in 2000. After Hungary’s accession to the EU in 2004,...

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