Internationalization as a "work-around" strategy: How going abroad can help to overcome local constraints
Burg, J.C. van
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The economic environment and associated constraints have significant and unequal effects on Small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Constraints have been used, among other growth factors, to understand why some SMEs fail to grow while others foster. However, beyond knowing the effects or constraints, it is important entrepreneurs know how they can avoid constraints. The study provides an important contribution by showing that South-African SMEs that face constraints because of competition, government rules and regulations, financing gaps and corruption, can navigate away from these constraints by going international. The evidence shows a positive moderating effect of internationalisation on the relationship between local constraints and SME growth. However, the results also reveal that lack of government support is a significant constraint to growth when SMEs export internationally.