Title: SME internationalisation and the role of global cities: a tentative conceptualisation

Authors: Philippe Régnier; Pascal Wild

Addresses: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Institute, School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Chemin du Musée 4, 1700, Fribourg, Switzerland ' Entrepreneurship and Small Business Institute, School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Chemin du Musée 4, 1700, Fribourg, Switzerland

Abstract: This article suggests a tentative conceptual framework to study the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the role of global cities as major business hubs providing a wide range of supportive services facilitating market entry. The literature discussing this intermediation role has exclusively covered the use of global cities by multinational corporations and their affiliates, but not by internationalising SMEs. It is hypothesised that a number of global cities play an important intermediation role for internationalising SMEs in foreign markets. The spatial concentration of business services, knowledge and talent in a global city meet the internationalising SMEs' demand for functional and social networks. Through access to reliable business information, SMEs are enabled to reduce distances to foreign markets. Preliminary empirical evidence is presented with descriptive results of Swiss internationalising SMEs and their linkages to the 21 major global cities.

Keywords: SME internationalisation; global cities' eco-systems; business development services; BDS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEXPORTM.2018.098929

International Journal of Export Marketing, 2018 Vol.2 No.3, pp.158 - 179

Available online: 28 Mar 2019 *

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