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Anna Vuorio and Kaisu Puumalainen 

Entrepreneurial process centres on decision-making and action in an uncertain context. Effectuation and causation are two complimentary decision-making logics through which entrepreneurs recognize and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities. So far, there has been only limited evidence about the circumstances under which effectuation and causation generate gains and losses, especially in the context of sustainable entrepreneurship. Sustainable entrepreneurs aim to balance three types of value _ social, environmental and economic value _ due to their conflicting nature. This chapter addresses the above-mentioned question by applying a machine learning approach, namely an artificial neural network, to analyse 301 Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises from multiple industries. The results of the analysis suggest three distinctive mindsets that combine characteristics of potential entrepreneurial opportunities, including different value creation potentials, and decision-making logics. These results contribute to both entrepreneurial decision-making and sustainable entrepreneurship research.

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Annu Kotiranta, Saila Tykkyläinen and Kaisu Puumalainen

Growth of social enterprises is expected to benefit societies and render economies more inclusive, including during economic crises. However, research on the topic has not provided compelling evidence on the large-scale effects of social enterprise growth. The purpose of this chapter is to investigate social enterprises’ growth trajectories in different economic cycles by employing robust quantitative methods and matched samples of Finnish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises. The findings are promising, for during the economic recession, social enterprises outperformed other enterprises. Thus, the study provides new evidence on social enterprises’ growth performance and contributes to the development of social enterprise growth research by applying theoretical insights from firm growth research.

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Niina Nummela, Sami Saarenketo, Eriikka Paavilainen-Mäntymäki and Kaisu Puumalainen

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Olli Kuivalainen, Sami Saarenketo, Lasse Torkkeli and Kaisu Puumalainen

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important part in the Finnish economy. In this chapter an overview of the internationalizing Finnish SMEs, their strategies, resources, product offerings and growth and international growth orientation is given. On the basis of primary data collected from the Finnish SMEs in five industries (N = 298 of which 110 had international experience) the profiles of their internationalization strategies are studied. The firms that can be seen as successful international entrepreneurial SMEs, that is, which have internationalized early and which have been able to sell their products in a number of countries are given the main focus. Also we take a look at existing support organizations in Finland. Finally, recommendations for both managers and public policy providers on how to improve SMEs’ international performance in the future are given.