Export Barriers for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A Literature Review based on Leonidou's Model


Objective: The purpose of this article is to understand the barriers faced by small and medium-sized enterprises in their path to internationalization. The intention of this paper is to provide an overview about the barriers faced by SMEs in their path to internationalization and discuss in detail different approaches taken by SMEs to overcome these barriers.

Research Design & Methods: This article is a literature review on the barriers faced by SMEs in internationalization and new approaches in this domain based on Leonidou’s (1995, 1998, 2004) model of export barrier classification.

Findings: Modern approaches by SMEs are effective in handling most of the traditional challenges posed in internationalization. Firms have evolved in handling internal barriers by finding dynamic solutions from within. SMEs need support from governmental and policy makers to overcome external barriers.

Implications & Recommendations:  Indications on the work to be done in overcoming certain barriers which impede the internationalization of SMEs are more in the context of external barriers.

Contribution & Value Added: The originality of this work is in creating a framework of barriers and finding solutions to some of the identified barriers


internationalisation; international business; export barriers; export obstacles; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

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Published : 2015-06-22

NarayananV. (2015). Export Barriers for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A Literature Review based on Leonidou’s Model. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 3(2), 105-123. https://doi.org/10.15678/EBER.2015.030208

Vijay Narayanan  prvijayan@gmail.com
Cracow University of Economics  Poland

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