Title: Internationalisation process, SMEs and transitional economies: a four-country perspective

Authors: Lester Lloyd-Reason, Atanas Damyanov, Ovidiu Nicolescu, Stuart Wall

Addresses: Centre for International Business Research, Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Polytechnic University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK. ' D. Tsenov Academy of Economics, 2 Em Chakarov St, Svishtov 5250, Bulgaria. ' International Management and Marketing Institute, 6 Anghel Saligny, Sector 5, Bucharest, Romania. ' Centre for International Business Research, Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Polytechnic University, East Road, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK

Abstract: This paper is based on a research project which has, on the demand side, investigated how entrepreneurs at the head of small and medium sized, domestically owned private enterprises are coping with the problem of internationalising their business operations within the changing business environment of central and eastern Europe. On the supply side, we have examined the extent to which an infrastructure of formal and informal provision is developing to match such demand in four countries in central and eastern Europe. The research project was funded by the Open Society Foundation Research Support Scheme, Grant No. 72/2000. The key functional areas of concern identified involve a lack of appropriate financial instruments, problems with market intelligence and market access, a lack of professionalism within the business support infrastructure and poorly developed management skills within the organisations interviewed. In response to these issues, the paper will discuss a number of policy recommendations.

Keywords: small and medium sized enterprises; SMEs; Eastern Europe; internationalisation; economic transition; tranistion economies; infrastructure; Romania, Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Hungary; management implications; public policy implications.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2005.006526

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2005 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.206 - 226

Published online: 20 Mar 2005 *

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