The Global Entrepreneur

18 03 2010


  • Companies are being born global today.”

Why entrepreneurs are going/ go global?

-They’re hunting for the best manufacturing locations

-Tons of information is at their fingertips

-Scouting for talent

-Searching for investors

-They need to manage operations from a distance

…Two other reasons

Defensive:  Competitive prices and resources can and have to be searched for globally.

Offensive:  A new business opportunity spans more than one country.  Entrepreneurs can use distance to create new products or services. (product extension)

Start-up companies going global face challenges and have needs they must address.

Key Challenges

1) Distance – start-ups don’t have the infrastructure to manage far distances.  Distance also creates time differences that can be challenging.  There’s also the “psychic distance” from such things as culture differences, language, political systems, religion, economic development, and so on.

2) Context – some of the factors above (politics, tax, legal) may affect shareholder returns and ability of a start-up to raise capital.

3) Resources – new ventures lack resources.

Competencies Global Entrepreneurs Need

1) Articulating a global purpose – know why going global is specifically worthwhile (i.e. To gain economies of scale? To be the first to market something somewhere else? Better for manufacturing?  Research and development?  Marketing?)

2) Alliance building – if resources are weak or limited, alliance building can seem like a way to build strength but a start-up may not have a lot of leverage on the terms of these partnerships so…hmmm (???)  problematic?

3) Supply-chain creation – due to costs, finding the best manufacturer’s for costs specifically in labor, fuel, and quality is important.

4) Multinational organization – expands a person’s ability to coordinate, control, and communicate on a grander scale.

  • Going global is a not a “pursuit for the faint-hearted, but even start-ups can thrive by using distance to gain competitive advantage.”
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