Going international - firm internationalization support and the relevance of business networks : A comparison between Germany and Sweden
Abstract: Background: Globalization is well known in the business world and more and more firms, especially larger ones, are expanding into other countries. Though SMEs represent the largest share with about 99% of firms contributing to the wealth of import or export reliant countries, the majority is not taking the chance to grow by going international. It seems that the internationalization barriers play a crucial role in hindering this process wherefore this thesis aims at collecting possible support providers and activities which are aiding SMEs to overcome these barriers. More specifically is this thesis mainly offering an in-depth summary on major support organizations, firms and networks in Germany and Sweden including their specific activities of assistance. Purpose: The purpose of this master thesis is to describe and compare the internationalization support providers in Germany and Sweden including their respective offered activities. Method: A qualitative and inductive research approach was used in this study, following a practice-oriented, descriptive case study. Data was collected through secondary data collection and the analysis was based on content analysis including coding. Results: In Germany the main services offered are networking, market research and financing assistance, while mobility aid and training is rather rare. In Sweden in comparison training is highly provided as well as market research and networking assistance, whereas marketing and strategy enhancement plus mobility and implementation assistance are uncommon. Conclusion: Since each firm has individual needs, it was refrained from a standardized valuation. Therefore, each firm is advised to use the information provided in the appendices to quickly find service providers suitable to their requirements.
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