PhD Projects

A modular and cutting-edge governmental support framework for SMEs’ internationalisation

Michael Stopfkuchen, Offenburg University and Northumbria University Newcastle

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy in many countries and often receive substantial government support. In an increasingly complex global economy, SMEs are faced with various barriers, risks and increasing uncertainty with regard to their international activities. Because of the significant role of SMEs for the national economy, government and government-backed institutions offer a large number of trade and foreign investment promotion instruments. Nevertheless, several studies point out that the awareness of supporting programmes is low and SMEs demand additional support. Looking at heterogeneous characteristics and specific support demand of various SMEs, this research focuses on the development of a modular and cutting-edge governmental support framework reaching a large number of firms. Considering the ‘institutional-based view’ theory, initial results indicate that the supporting process is highly complex, and there is a strong interaction between firms and institutions. Consequently, it is crucial for a comprehensive support framework to include governmental aspects (e.g. public policy, economic objectives and formal/informal institutions) as well as firm-specific factors.

Find out more here about our joint doctoral programme with Northumbria University Newcastle: