Title: Innovation and international involvement of Dutch SMEs

Authors: S. Jolanda A. Hessels

Addresses: EIM Business and Policy Research, Italielaan 33, P.O. Box 7001, 2701 AA Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Abstract: This study focuses on the relation between innovation and the international involvement of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), taking into account export as well as import activities of firms. The analysis is based on a sample of more than 1,800 Dutch SMEs using regression analysis. First, a positive impact is found for innovative investments on international involvement. The results of the analysis also suggest that there is a significant positive effect of several innovative realisations or practices on international involvement. For example, the results indicate that product innovations, strategic attention for innovation and inter-firm cooperation are positively related to export behaviour and export intensity. The results also indicate that product innovations, process innovations and supplier-driven innovations are positively related to import behaviour. Finally, some evidence is also found that international involvement may stimulate firms to invest in product innovations and in new distribution systems.

Keywords: internationalisation; innovation; small and medium-sized enterprises; Dutch SMEs; The Netherlands; exports; imports; distribution systems; entrepreneurship; small business.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2007.013250

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2007 Vol.4 No.3, pp.234 - 255

Published online: 14 Apr 2007 *

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