Breaking out of Boundaries: A multiple case-study examining the role of entrepreneurship for the internationalization of small skincare born global firms
Abstract: As the beauty and skincare market continues to grow globally, there is also a growing trend of early and rapid internationalization among skincare brands that are looking to capitalize on the global market. While this constitutes a great opportunity for companies, internationalization can be difficult for young and small firms, in particular, to effectively navigate. So-called Born Globals (BGs) are typically start-ups with a global mindset that early and rapidly internationalize despite being constrained by limited resources. In addition, fast internationalization of skincare brands can present several challenges. This thesis is based on a multiple case study approach with two companies that can be classified as BGs, Alpha Skin and Sigma Care, to investigate the role of innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities from former experience, networking and exploiting opportunism, in their internationalization processes. Recognizing the entrepreneurial aspects and understanding the patterns of internationalization can provide valuable insights for skincare companies looking to expand their reach globally. The empirical findings reveal that both BG firms prioritize innovation as a contributing factor to their drive and facilitate their internationalization. Networks played a critical role in overcoming internationalization-related challenges, namely regulatory barriers and accessing foreign resources. The study also highlights the firms' entrepreneurial capabilities in identifying and exploiting international business opportunities. Based on the findings, the thesis recommends that firms stay informed on industry trends and regulations, be creative, proactive, and open to networks to better exploit business opportunities. The study contributes to the literature on born global theory and international entrepreneurship by providing empirical evidence of their application in the skincare industry.
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