- The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Hamid Etemad, Tage Koed Madsen, Erik S. Rasmussen and Per Servais
Chapter 1: Revisiting aspects of born globals: young Canadian SMEs growing rapidly and becoming born globals
The popular emergence of international entrepreneurship (IE) as a scholarly field can be traced back to business and consulting reports in the latter part of the twentieth century, but mainly to the 1980s and 1990s. Holstein and Kelly reported on ‘Little Companies, Big Exports’ in Business Week magazine in 1992 regarding smaller American companies. Similarly, The Economist (1993) featured smaller American firms that ‘surged’ into international markets. A consulting study and report for the Australian Manufacturing Council (McKinsey and Co. 1993) pointed to the existence of a large number of smaller Australian firms engaged in substantial exporting in the very early stages of their lifespan (in about two years of operations), called ‘Born Globals’ by Rennie (1993). The proportion of young Australian firms’ exports has been steadily growing from less than 10 percent in 1960s to approximately 25 percent in the early 1990s; thus this early exporting phenomenon has been quietly going on for some time. In an editorial piece in the Journal of International Marketing Research, Cavusgil (1994) referred to the ‘Born Global’ phenomenon as a ‘quiet revolution’. Based on 24 case studies of smaller firms in 11 countries, McDougall and Oviatt (1994) reported on start-up enterprises that had internationalized early in their lifespan, if not from inception, and called them ‘international new ventures’ (INVs). Knight and Cavusgil (1996) also reported on US-based born globals (BGs).
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