Internationalization of African SMEs: Context, Trends and Challenges
9 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 20, 2018
There has been an important increase in the international and inter-continental operations of African SMEs over the last decade, because of the emergence of regional “champions”, able to compete with foreign multinationals, present in the continent since many decades, but also because of the emergence of innovative and creative SMEs, capable to meet the market needs of various consumers of Africa. Understanding the particular international business landscape in Africa draws attention to several ignored research questions and research aspects, requiring further research and exploration, to contextualize the SMEs’ internationalization of African firms. This paper highlights relevant areas/aspects needed while studying the internationalization of SMEs, by bringing back the historical context of the continent. Next, this paper contributes to the understanding of the internationalization of African SMEs by analyzing the trends and opportunities of the research in this field. Finally, the challenges and the risks of the internationalization of African firms will be analyzed, in order to set the limits of the nature of internationalization of the continent’s SMEs.
Keywords: Africa, SMEs, emerging markets, firms internationalization
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