Government Financing of SMEs : A case study of the Swedish business development check for internationalization

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Author: Alexander Eriksson; [2017]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Purpose:This thesis consistsof research on government support to SMEs. The focus is on financing since research within the area have found that government financing isan ineffective support to SMEs on its own. To study this the research looked into the Swedish business development check. Since that check is specified for both internationalizing and digitizing the choice was made to only look at the internationalization aspect. The purpose of the thesis is to investigate how well suited the support is for internationalizing and also what effects it has had on the SMEs competitiveness.For the best insights the point of view is from an enterprises’ perspective.Design/Methodology/Approach:Post-positivism is the basis for the research as a research philosophical orientation. Because of the theoretical gaps the goal was to do a descriptive study. To get a deeper understanding and be able to answer the research questions a qualitative approach was chosen. This led in turn to interviews with respondents from five different enterprises. These enterprises were chosen out of a sample consisting of enterprises that had received a check for internationalization.Findings:The analysis of empirical data showed several things. First of all is that the check worked as a push in the back for those who had received it, but they also said that they would internationalize even without it. The check had however helped them all totake the step into a new market. Furthermore, the respondents believed that they had become more competitive as a result of internationalizing. There was however no obvious evidence for that.Research limitations/implications:This research was limited to only look at SMEs in Sweden that had applied for a particular government support. It can therefore not answer questions regarding government financing overall, and specifically not questions regarding other types of support. However, it fills some gaps as it gives indications as to how this type of support is perceived by SMEs and what effects it can have on SMEs businesses. Especially their ability to internationalize and competitive ability.Originality/Value:The originality of this thesis lies in theresearch of a specific business development support. There is not much theory on this area and he theory that exist is mostly from an economist’s point of view. By taking the business perspective the study hasbecome original.Key words:SME, Resource-based theory, Government financing, Business development check, Competitiveness, Internationalization

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