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International Business Challenges and Opportunities for Canadian Firms

Part A: Analyzing Challenges that Canadian Firms Encounter


Module 1 introduced the nature of international business and global economic development and tried to impress upon you the broadening scope and influence of globalization.

In Parts A and B, you will reflect back on the research you conducted in your reading to examine international business from a Canadian perspective or from the perspective of Canadian firms. In Part C, you will take the first step toward research for your Assignment 5 project, by writing a proposal for your international business venture.


Assignments 1, 2, 3, and 4 progressively develop the foundation material for your Assignment 5 project, the international business country profile, which accounts for 25% of your course grade.


Part A: Analyzing Challenges that Canadian Firms Encounter (20 marks)

Write a 2-page summary (500 words, double-spaced) in which you:

• Describe some of the challenges and opportunities for Canadian businesses entering foreign markets. Refer back to some of your readings in this module for ideas and specific examples that support your discussion.

Part B: Analyzing the Influence of Globalization on Canadian Firms (30 marks)

Write a 3–4-page report (750–1,000 words, double-spaced) on the following:

1. Using information from the textbook on the drivers for international business, and by researching information from the Internet, present examples of three Canadian companies that are entering or expanding their role in international business.

2. For each, identify: Who is the company? Is it a large, medium, or small enterprise? What is the primary good or service it markets? Where does it do business?

3. Conduct a preliminary analysis of these three companies’ international business entry modes, identify advantages they may be enjoying, and evaluate which globalization forces may be supporting their success. Defend your statements with evidence from the textbook, company reports, or other literature. The goal is to show your understanding of the challenges and opportunities of international business.


Keep in mind that in subsequent assignments you will be developing an in-depth host country profile. Thus, for Part B, it may be advantageous to research companies, products, or services that are of interest to your venture, along with those that might be your potential competitors.

Part C: Proposing Your International Business Venture (50 marks)

Imagine that you are the owner or representative of a firm that has a product or service to take to the international market. First, identify the product or service that you will represent throughout the rest of this course. Then, invest some time researching and considering carefully the venture and its suitability for other countries. Since in subsequent modules you will spend many more hours researching and investigating the merit of this venture, an informed decision at this time will set the stage for both your interest and success in the Assignment 5 Project.

Here are guidelines and criteria for the proposal:

1. It must be for the establishment of a new business venture in a foreign country (outside Canada), with the assumption that you are a Canadian entrepreneur or business operator planning this venture.

2. Clearly identify the product or service, and briefly describe the reasons why you think there is potential for success in launching this product in a global market.

3. Draw on information you learned in Module 1, as well as your background and education in business, and any travel experience that may provide you with ideas for a successful new international business venture.

4. The proposal should be realistic; that is, the product or service should not be pure fantasy, nor should it be immoral or illegal. You will need to find online resources, so be practical in your choice of country. Try to be creative in your choice, as the Open Learning Faculty Member may ask you to make another selection if it is already selected by others or has been overused in previous course offerings.

5. While you do not have to finalize your country at this time, you will be analyzing five to seven countries in order to identify two potential host countries, one of which will be the focus of your Assignment 5 project. Take time to verify that there is sufficient data available on websites such as Industry Canada, IMF, WTO, and UNDP to make the project possible. You should include the list of websites as an appendix to your proposal.

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