Born Globals - Seven rules for a successful international start-up
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growing number of startups enter a global market in their founding phase, and successfully compete against large, established incumbents. These firms are “born global” and the founders are typically highly educated, well connected, and able to form dynamic, high performing teams. They also typically perform better than traditional exporters, but there is nevertheless a need to increase the probability of success in this vulnerable period of a firm’s life. The Born Global field of study is a young one, and offers little in terms of practical advice or guidance for entrepreneurs with international ambitions. This intensive study uses an inductive approach to develop propositions that will help bridge this gap. Empirical data is collected through individual interviews of the founders of four Norwegian Born Global firms. Elements from global, entrepreneurial and Born Global strategy theory are combined with the case analysis. Although these are four distinct Born Globals, the literature and the analysis reveals common points when compared to each other. It also uncovers certain important factors to reduce the risk of failure. Seven concrete criteria are identified in the fields of corporate vision, strategy execution, market selection, management resources and organization, and foreign market entry modes. Implications of this study show that policy makers and Export Promotion Organizations need to develop an increased understanding of Born Globals’ needs versus those of traditional firms. They should identify prospective Born Globals within high potential industries, and provide contacts and financial funding to encourage additional growth for such firms. This study only analyzes successful Born Globals, and further research could examine the reasons why other fail. It would also be beneficial to investigate more the different industries where Born Globals operate and develop a structuring framework for these.