The “Go-Global” Notion of Entrepreneurs from Non-Metropolitan Regions : Evidence from SMEs located in North Region of Sweden

University essay from Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet (USBE); Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet (USBE)


Owing to their gigantic participation in global economic growth, the phenomenon of SMEs

internationalization has become the centre of attention for numerous researchers. Starting from

Uppsala model (1977) to born-global approaches today, scholars have been coming up with

several theories and models time to time. An in-depth study of literature concerning SMEs

internationalization, however, reveals that extant literature has primarily focused on firms that

are operating from metropolitan or core regions of the world. It has largely ignored the vast

peripheral and non-metropolitan regions of the world from where a great number of SMEs are

operating in foreign markets. Particularly increasing number of small high-tech firms with ‘low

to no demand’ in domestic market coupled with higher returns available in global markets are

induced to internationalize despite intimidating challenges of periphery. Consequently,

internationalization phenomenon from said locations, even in face of daunting challenges that

hinder SMEs growth, turns out to be an attention-grabbing area – hence worth-investigating!

The purpose of this study is to investigate the phenomenon of internationalization that is being

pursued by SMEs located in non-metropolitan regions that offer unique constraints and

challenges. More specifically, the objective is to explore the kind of entrepreneurial skills and

talent that is required to develop networking relations with key players and to eventually

internationalize from a peripheral location.

To carry out this research, eight semi-structured interviews were conducted informally with key

individuals from five small high-tech international firms located in North region of Sweden – a

non-metropolitan region.

Based on the findings, a conceptual model is developed which underlines that an entrepreneur in

non-metropolitan regions should:

possess global mind-set, social and team formation skills, and,

industry experience;

develop social, business and incessant snowball networks by efficiently

utilizing his social skills;

understand the peripheral challenges like: lack of financial resources,

scarcity of non-tech professionals, being far away from core markets, absence of agglomeration

advantage and travelling time and cost; and on the same time

exploit the peripheral advantages

which include loyal, hardworking, less salaried and easily retained employees, and, easy life and

exotic climate that exclusively prevail in non-metropolitan regions. Having possessed skills,

developed networks, and exploited the opportunities, the entrepreneur is now able to

build a pool

of potential and strength which minimizes the effect of constraints that he has already


. As a result he can successfully pursue internationalization from a non-metropolitan


We believe that this study has contributed both theoretically and practically and will inspire

future empirical or conceptual research regarding this important topic.

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