Vol. II (2021), No. 1

Bojan Moric Milovanovic
Institute of Public Finance, Croatia 

Matea Cvjetkovic
Libertas International University, Croatia  

Review article
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.47954/ijcbe.2.1.3
JEL Classification: F23, L26, M13


Internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises is getting more attention from researchers who study different paths, strategies, entry modes and their behavior on international market, while also identifying their limitations, potential risks, and threats. Globalization, especially the growth of online sales channels and fast (and affordable) communication have simplified the complexity of internationalization, which has made it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the international market. Gradual step-by-step internationalization process and long-term planning have been replaced with new, fast market entrance strategies. Lately, many companies are being founded that put their focus and operational activities on internationalization from the beginning (born global). This paper gives an overview of the main internationalization theories (traditional internationalization theory, the network theory, and international entrepreneurship theory) and discusses their importance. Additionally, it examines the motives for the internationalization, main barriers, main risks, and explores the critical success factors that are important in the process of internationalization. Information provided can be useful to the companies that consider expanding their business operations abroad.

Key words: internationalization; internationalization theories; critical success factors; SMEs

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