Title: Education coupled with international networking: benefits for exporting in Middle East and North Africa

Authors: Mahsa Mahmoodi Mehrizi; Thomas Schøtt

Addresses: University of Shahid Beheshti, Department of Entrepreneurship Management, Daneshjou Blvd. Velenjak Ave., Tehran, Iran ' Departmen of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, 6000 Kolding, Denmark

Abstract: Education promotes management in business, but business leaders' learning is lifelong and continually pursued through networking for business knowledge. Internationalisation of learning occurs through internationalisation of education and networking, specifically networking with advisors who are abroad or have come from abroad. Focusing on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), this article accounts for the coupling of education with international networking, so as to benefit exporting. - Business owner-managers were surveyed in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, providing a sample of 10,843 owner-managers of starting and operating businesses in 14 countries representing MENA, interviewed with a questionnaire asking about their education, networking and exporting. - Analyses support the theses that education facilitates international networking, that education promotes exporting, that international networking benefits exporting and that education moderates the benefit of networking for exporting, in the way that the benefit of networking for exporting is especially great for owner-managers with high education.

Keywords: higher education; learning; internationalisation; international networking; networks; exporting; Middle East; North Africa; MENA region; business management; business leaders; lifelong learning; business knowledge; advisors; owner-managers; self-employed businesses; self-owned firms; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; GEM; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurial behaviour; startups; operating businesses.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.065311

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.23 No.1/2, pp.110 - 126

Available online: 21 Oct 2014 *

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