Written by Mona Pearl

Global Entrepreneurship: Positioned for Success

Born global start-up companies are greatly positioned for successful global growth, and here are the top reasons why:

  1. In a global context, start-ups have nothing to lose but the whole world to gain. They are nimble, their founders are risk-takers, adventurous, and can usually be under the radar while competing globally on a scale that provides them with a competitive edge.
  1. They are more flexible, innovative and able to change and adapt much faster than the large multinationals. That is a combination of size, layers of management as well as corporate culture that are entrepreneurial and forward thinking, as opposed to risk adverse characteristics of large corporations.
  1. The leadership in smaller companies is more entrepreneurial, intimately involved and in-tune with the daily operations and by having fewer layers to go through, can adapt, move and act much faster. Born global companies tend to have innovative cultures and knowledge-based organizational capabilities.  In many cases, the core team that started this venture is still around, and there is more of a tight and personal corporate culture that plays very well in other countries around the globe.
  1. Top management/founders, have global work experience & have had established an extensive and reliable network with other companies abroad. This network allows them to offer services or become a supplier of OEM parts to other global giants.
  1. Flexible & learning organization. Global start-ups are flexible on their operations i.e., they are willing to do a variety of tasks and services in order to survive in business. Organization encourages learning from all its engagements.
  1. Multiple skill sets. Cross-industry, cross-functional, more comfortable with change, adaptation and constant learning.  Employees have multiple skill sets which helps organization to be flexible and fast moving. Unlike large organizations, Global startups are do not have a large specialized departments in middle or upper management areas. Any specialization will be limited to technical/Engineering areas only.

Catching the Wave of Global Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs around the world have much more in common than executives or any other business leaders/operators.  Born global companies have developed a unique corporate culture which can be best described as a “Global Culture” and a set of skills and attributes that play very well in international business:

  • A ‘let’s get it done’, and ‘hands on’ approach
  • Openness, sensitivity and awareness to other national cultures
  • Cross-industry skills that translate in the ability of filling-in and working in a plethora of functions
  • Comfortable with uncertainty, and actually thriving under these conditions
  • Open minded and possess the eagerness and desire to learn, improve and grow while working as a team to achieve a common goal
  • Commitment to the project requirements while the work day is driven by accomplishing goals and not by traditional work hours
  • A strong sense of need for success (not just the fear of failure)
  • Knowledge of multiple foreign languages
  • The tendency to choose and craft a strategy based on their core competencies. The driver is growing the core business to the target market.  A born-global firm is a venture launched to exploit a global niche from the first day of its operations, and caters to a globally diverse niche from day one.  The strategic plan outlines the global launch activities, while the group may run it from the home country, or even have a collaborative management team across borders.
  • The ability and skillfulness to raise capital from around the world, utilizing their global networks
  • Distance isn’t a factor they build their staff with the best employees from all over the world.