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 37: Outward Internationalization of Turkish SMEs

Serdar Karabati


Serdar Karabati One of the 25 largest economies in the world, Turkey boasts a GNI of approximately 268 billion and a GDP of approximately 301 billion US dollars (World Bank, 2005). Turkey is regarded as a highly successful NIC among the non-oil economies of its immediate region, especially in terms of depth of industrialization achieved (Dana, 2000). Although the Turkish economy is considerable in size and scope, accommodating a population of approximately 72 million people, Turkey ranks as a lower middle-income country alongside Brazil, China, the Russian Federation, Colombia, Iran and Peru (World Bank, 2005). In the Turkish business environment, SMEs account for 99.8 per cent of all enterprises, 76.7 per cent of total employment, 38 per cent of capital investment and 26.5 per cent of value added (OECD, 2004). An important segment of these SMEs is located in industrial zones and small-scale industrial estates in less developed cities in Turkey. These emerging firms represent a new wave of industrialization driven by local entrepreneurship and sustain an important role in the elimination of regional differences (Akgemci, 2001). Although the SMEs also play a vital role in the development of large firms in Turkish business, they suffer from slow growth (Radikal, 2005, 24 August). Problems that Turkish SMEs face are argued to result basically from technological obsolescence, absence of professionalism and lack of market orientation (Coskun and Altunisik, 2002). In addition to these firm-level deficiencies, it is also suggested that SMEs show greater vulnerability towards adverse consequences of...

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