The first study of fast internationalizing small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was conducted by Rennie (1993). He identified a ‘new breed’ of Australian firms which were ‘born-global’. According to this study, born-global firms tended to be small with, for example, average sales of less than US$16 million and to be relatively young in age (for instance with an average age of 14 years). They should have begun exporting, on average, two years after their establishment and have generated three-quarters of their total sales via exporting. Such companies were found in all industries, but they all applied new technologies to developing unique products or a new way of doing business and, according to Junkkari (2000), as a result were strikingly competitive against established large players. Born-global firms or international new ventures (INVs) are firms that are international and entrepreneurial in their business dealings. Wright and Ricks (1994) highlighted international entrepreneurship (IE) as a newly emerging research arena and they defined internationalization speed as: time between discovery of an opportunity and first foreign entry, speed with which country scope is increased (market selection and spreading), and speed of international commitment (mode of entry versus export share). Oviatt and McDougall (1994) found that many of the firms they studied were not truly global and thus decided to call INVs these new fast internationalizing SMEs instead of born globals or global start-ups.
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