International Business

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Born global: The potential of job creation in new international businesses

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Wyattville Road, Loughlinstown, Dublin 18, Ireland. - Tel: (+353 1) 204 31 00 - Fax: 282 42 09 / 282 64 56 email: - website:

When citing this report, please use the following wording: Eurofound (2012), Born global: The potential of job creation in new international businesses, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Authors: Irene Mandl and Funda Celikel-Esser (with contributions from Carlos Vacas Soriano, Klemen Širok, Donald Storrie and Ewa Jarosz) Research manager: Irene Mandl Research project: Born global: The potential of job creation in newly established international businesses (0376)


Executive summary Introduction 1. ‘Born global’ enterprises 2. Born globals in the European economy 3. Characteristics of born globals 4. Factors explaining the emergence of born globals 5. Public and policy support for born globals 6. Concluding remarks and policy pointers Bibliography

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Executive summary


Traditional theory about international business suggests that companies first establish a solid home market and go global only in later stages of their life cycle. However, this view is challenged by research that shows that some firms internationalise quickly after start-up – so-called ‘born globals’. These firms are assumed to be strongly innovative and growth-oriented, and hence could well contribute to the economic and labour market recovery Europe is seeking after the global financial crisis. So far, little is known about the full economic potential of these companies and how best to support them. This study aims to close this knowledge gap by providing a summary of literature and secondary data to characterise born globals and pinpoint their main strengths and weaknesses as well as economic and labour market potential. In addition, it...