Finnish born globals: Growth and survival through external finance and government support

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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International Business
Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
Degree programme
The purpose of the study is to determine how the external financiers and government organizations contribute to the growth and survival of the Finnish Born Globals through their growth stages. The term “born global” first appeared in scholarly literature in 1993, within Rennie’s article titled “Global competitiveness: born global”. Ever since, there has been a growing interest to understand how born globals (firms that obtain 25 percent of their revenues from the commercialization with countries outside of the home continent within the first six years) operate. However, the existing literature leaves a gap regarding this subject, where the relationship between external finance, government support and born globals’ growth and survival is not specified. For which this study contributes to the advancement of theory in the International Business field. The study is qualitative in nature, involving a multi-case study analysis of 16 Finnish born global firms, five government organizations, and one venture capital firm. In-depth interviews and one focus group were conducted to gather significant data and draw on conclusions. The study’s main finding is that the external financial resources propitiate the Finnish born globals’ growth and survival by supporting the firms through their critical decision points throughout their growth stages. Additionally, the study tested several propositions contrasting the literature with the empirical data. The revised propositions are: (1) as the Finnish born global develops, its financial resources do not necessarily tend to move from an equity base to a debt base; (2) acquiring a previous external financial resource tend to facilitate the Finnish born global to obtain the financial resource that follows the financial progression; (3) the changes in external financial strategies tend to support more critical decision points in the firms’ development facilitating the firms’ growth and survival, and; (4) through their growth stages, the government provides financial and non-financial support, primarily to diminish the market imperfections and fill the gap left by the absence of the private markets, but, in some cases, the government also support the firms in the absence of such market imperfections.
Born global, businessangel, critical decision points, external finance, growth and survival, growth stages, government support, and venture capitalist
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