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Breaking the mould

In this section we are going to take a look at businesses that are very successful at internationalisation: ‘born globals’ or International New Ventures (INVs)

Born globals are businesses that have the capability to compete internationally and work with resources from around the world from inception.

Born global companies are changing the way people think about internationalisation. They are leading researchers and practitioners to re-think the internationalisation process.

In his article ‘Global from the Start’, Tanev (2012) discusses various definitions for the term ‘born global’ and lists the following characteristics:

  • High activity in international markets from or near the founding.
  • Limited financial and tangible resources.
  • Present across most industries.
  • Managers have a strong international outlook and international entrepreneurial orientation.
  • Emphasis on differentiation strategy.
  • Emphasis on superior product quality.
  • Leveraging advanced Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
  • Using external, independent intermediaries for distribution in foreign markets.

The article also looks specifically at born globals in the technology sector and identifies opportunities for future research.

Your task

Read Global from the Start: The Characteristics of Born-Global Firms in the Technology Sector (Tanev 2012) and note down the key points of this article.

  • What do you think qualifies as high levels of activity in international markets?
  • How many countries do you think a firm has to enter in order to be classed as a born global company?

Share your thoughts with other learners in the discussion area.


Tanev, S. (2012) ‘Global from the Start: The Characteristics of Born-Global Firms in the Technology Sector’. Technology Innovation Management Review, March 2012

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Marketing: A Definition

Coventry University