Entrepreneurial Level Factors of Early Internationalization: A Cross Country Comparison
This paper provides new knowledge by applying the concept of international entrepreneurship to early internationalizing firms. This study explores the entrepreneurial level factors of success at the startup stage of international new ventures (INVs) in the context of three Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in transition: Hungary, Lithuania and Poland. Based on multiple case study approach, the study provides important scientific insights into the international entrepreneurship theory by examining the still underexplored transition in CEE countries’ context. Lots of similarities emerge between INVs in three CEE countries, however their cultural and historical backgrounds are different enough to justify scholarly interest in potential idiosyncratic features. Findings suggest that there is significant diversity in the entrepreneurial level factors behind the early success of local INVs in international markets across these countries, especially in terms of direct foreign market experience, entrepreneurial orientation and existing network membership. Nevertheless, the findings reveal that in the sample focused on ITC businesses, solid industry experience of the founders proved to be key in the success of INVs’ internationalisation.