SMALL AND MEDIUM-SCALE ENTERPRISES INTERNATIONALIZATION: AN EGYPTIAN PERSPECTIVE
The purpose of this study is to understand the international engagement behavior of SMEs from emerging markets with special reference to internationalizing SMEs from Egypt. The study adopts a qualitative exploratory study design using a multiple case study methodology to collect, analyze, and interpret the data. The data collected from 5 case studies representing Egyptian Small and Medium-scale Enterprises from manufacturing and service sector. The researcher used the QSR Nvivo software to analyze the data. Egyptian SMEs apply different approaches to internationalization based on their resource capabilities and interaction with their external business environment both in home and international markets. Factors like market conditions, management, size, industry, physical and psychic distance play a crucial role in shaping their internationalization decisions relating to decision to internationalize, target markets, entry modes choices. These factors also determine and shape their internationalizations approach and patterns in terms of speed, scope, and scale. The findings from this research can be applied to the internationalization of the SMEs in similar developing economies and emerging markets.
This research findings add further research knowledge to the academic literature on the global business with reference to SME`s international business behavior from emerging markets. This research acts as a tool to understand better the process of internationalization and the subsequent challenges that the SMEs would face with a special mention on the select industries from the MSME sector in Egypt. The results that are derived from this research will provide insights tothe trade promotion organizationin Egypt thatpromote SMEs internationalization by finding the areas that need further improvements. There were difficulties in contacting the interviewees who are from top management according to their comfort, fixing the appointments with them, and their compliance of the appointment. The validation of this primary information is limited to the interviewees belonging to the top management of the SMEs who are supposedly the experts in the industry.
KEY WORDS: Internationalisation, Small and Medium-size Entreprises (SMEs), International Engagement,International Business, Egypt.