The single-case study of exploring the influences of government export assistance on firms, especially SMEs

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
Finland is a Nordic country with a population of 5.6 million. The home market in Finland is small and the market demand is limited. Finnish firms are active to seek opportunities on the international market. Although internationalization means more challenges and risks, its strategic significance is obvious. Different from large firms, SMEs are hard to succeed by themselves on the international market. They are lack of international experiences, finance resources, interpersonal networks, and others. Government export assistance play an important role on supporting the internationalization of firms, especially SMEs. This research aims to understand how government institution support the internationalization of firms, especially SMEs. The study focused on especially the services of government institution offered to these SMEs. The predicted pattern of government export assistance rose from literature review shows government institution mainly offer marketing support and finance assistance. This study aims to understand how government institution support SMEs expanding beyond regional boundaries, developing the long-term business relationships, and building international entrepreneurship. Moreover, this study contributes to understand the support of fundings on SMEs. Finland has two contributions. First, through analyzing the collection data, the empirical pattern presented as similar as the predicted one. In other words, the empirical part of the study supported the theoretical propositions. Government institution indeed mainly support firms including SMEs to internationalize by offering valuable information and funds. Although Business Finland set up offices in different target countries and have improved the quality of knowledge and interpersonal network, the ways to support firms to internationalize are mainly not changed. Second, this study the role of government export assistance on SMEs. Not all SMEs are suitable to internationalize. Government institution provide a variety of services and fundings to improve the capacity of SMEs in all aspects. However, SMEs must be responsible for their own decisions. Government institution can only advice but not decide. Based on the findings, people who are interested in government export assistance may understand the influences of government institutions on supporting SMEs in the aspects of marketing and funding and the relationships between government institutions and SMEs in the early phase of internationalization. Moreover, they could add the understanding of the innovation on government export assistance.
Thesis advisor
Lu, Wei
government export assistance, SMEs, internationalization, Business Finland, Chinese market
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