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Entrepreneurship Challenges in High‐Growth Companies and Consequences for SME Policy




Objective: The objective of this paper is to identify success factors for corporate growth out of these two approaches (hidden champions research, high‐growth companies research) to make the findings fertile for entrepreneurship policy and for entrepreneurship with a growth focus.

Research Design & Methods: The article is based on the literature review (theoretical background and research results on high‐growth companies). The paper is a summary of recent research findings regarding SME growth drivers and success factors as well as considerations about the goals of an effective SME and entrepreneurship policy.

Findings: On the basis of the various empirical research only 6 to 10% of companies become high‐growth companies. Most high‐growth companies arise in niche markets in low‐involvement industries and are not breakthrough innovators or technology leader. These companies produce the most jobs.

Implications & Recommendations: Therefore, it is recommended in terms of SME policy not to generally support high technology or ‘trendy’ industries or more or less evenly many companies, but to use research findings for better targeting the companies with the highest potential to become outperformer and ‘jog engines’.

Contribution & Value Added: The paper can be treated as a unique summary of the ‘state of research’ about successful SMEs and the application of the research findings to an economic policy question (interdisciplinary approach).


high‐growth companies, hidden champions, entrepreneurship policy, SME policy, corporate life cycle


Author Biography

Robert K. Gruenwald

PhD Student at the Cracow University of Economics



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