Title: Early internationalisation and networking: an inquiry into born-global firms in Pakistan

Authors: Manzoom Akhter; Joseph Omoloba; Christophe Estay

Addresses: University of Education, College Road, Township, Block C Phase 1 Johar Town, Lahore, Punjab 54770, Pakistan ' LIRSA, CNAM, Hesam Université, Paris, France ' EM Normandie, Laboratoire Métis, Le Havre, France; LIRSA, CNAM, Hesam Université, Paris, France

Abstract: The paper aims to examine the role of networks in the resource acquisition of Pakistani born-global firms, and the strength of ties that entrepreneurs use during critical stages of the early internationalisation. The paper adopted both semi-structured interviews with a panel of experts and a collection of SMEs cases to explore whether findings from developed countries are applicable to small firms in developing countries and to give evidence of the born-global phenomenon in a developing country like Pakistan. The findings of our studies reveal that Pakistani SMEs, in their quest to become born-global firms, also use their networks to overcome the constraints related to rapid internationalisation. Since internationalisation of firms has different contexts in terms of access to foreign markets and opportunities recognition, entrepreneurs and businesses should become more cognisant of the opportunities that these potential markets create and look to generate wealth for these niches through social innovation.

Keywords: born-global; international new ventures; internationalisation of SMEs; international entrepreneurship; network; Pakistani SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/MEJM.2020.10031679

Middle East Journal of Management, 2020 Vol.7 No.6, pp.531 - 556

Received: 09 Feb 2019
Accepted: 05 Jul 2019

Published online: 28 Aug 2020 *

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