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International Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities


The literature identifies three major barriers to the internationalisation of entrepreneurial firms lack of foreign market knowledge, limited human and financial resources, and inherent weaknesses in management. In many countries, developing the entrepreneurial capabilities of firms and management teams is a significant public policy objective. Given the potential contributions of small entrepreneurial firms to economic development and export led growth, an international context and focus is highly appropriate. 


The aim of the module is to lead students towards an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the international growth and development process of firms from their inception through to maturity as established international firms, with the emphasis on the early stages of international development for new venture and young, often born-global firms. Conventional internationalisation theory is challenged through discussion of rapidly internationalising firms, international new ventures and the born-global phenomenon. The course focuses on key concepts and theories underpinning international entrepreneurship, and how these are applied in practice.  In addition, students are encouraged to draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives, and practical applications to illuminate and reflect upon their learning in the context of international entrepreneurship, born globals and international new ventures.

Learning outcomes are stated explicitly in the Course Document, and summarized below. On successful completion of this module students will

Knowledge and Understanding

K1 Demonstrate knowledge of the factors, which influence entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviour in an international context.

K2 Understand the nature of Born Global/International New Venture internationalisation, and the emerging theories/concepts underpinning this  phenomenon

K3 Comment authoritatively on how (international) entrepreneurial behaviour can be used to improve the competitive advantage of small firms.

I1 Identify, analyse and synthesise materials from primary and secondary sources that assist in the understanding of International Entrepreneurship.

I2 Construct and defend a reasoned argument in class presentations.

I3 Take a creative approach to studying topics in International Entrepreneurship, including thinking and reflecting around entrepreneurial issues and solving problems

I4 Develop their learning through the cross fertilisation of ideas from their own and others’ experiences (peer to peer learning)

Practical Skills

P1 Apply knowledge of International Entrepreneurship, Born Globals and International New Ventures processes and practice creatively to problem solving situations.

P2 Recognise and utilise their own and others contributions in-group processes.

P3 Participate in academic, ethical and value discussions that develop from International Entrepreneurship topics studied

P4 Complete written assignments in a way that demonstrates systematic information gathering, accuracy, critical reflection on argumentspresented, as well as detailed Harvard referencing in written assignments.

Transferable Skills    

T1 Demonstrate an ability to research, synthesize and evaluate complex (international) issues systematically and creatively.

T2 Demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communication

T3 Demonstrate an ability to take responsibility for the development of their knowledge of International Entrepreneurship, and skill-sets with regard to international entrepreneurship.

T4 Demonstrate an ability to learn through critical reflection on International Entrepreneurship, theory, practice and future scenarios
Demonstrate an ability to learn and enhance personal effectiveness, and self-confidence through feedback from both tutors and peers.

Concepts and theories will be presented through a combination of lecture and tutorial activities, as well as practical exercises, with directed readings and discussions, multimedia resources, guest lecture sessions and case studies/future scenarios.  In tutorial time, topics will be explored and developed through a mix of case studies/future scenarios, student-led presentations and/or discussions. In order to assist students adopt a global outlook, case studies will be drawn from varying international contexts, and each week will have a different country focus slot, as part of the tutorial series. 

Finance & International Entrepreneurship    

Carter, S., & Jones-Evans, D.(2012) Chapter 23 Evers, Cunningham & Hoholm (2014) Chapter 12 Keasey, K., Pindado, J., & Rodrigues L (2014) The determinants of the costs of financial distress in SMEs, International Small Business Journal 0266242614529317, first published on April 28, First online.
Gabrielsson, M., Sasi, V. and Darling, J. (2004), ‘Finance strategies of rapidly growing Finnish SMEs: Born internationals and born globals’, European Business Review, Vol. 16, (6), pp. 590–604.

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