High risk, high reward: small and medium enterprises can find success in fast-growth emerging markets

Conference Board report, webinar, describe how SMEs succeed in challenging markets

OTTAWA, July 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Small and medium-sized Canadian companies that succeed in fast-growing international markets are technologically-advanced trail blazers according to a new Conference Board report. But these firms do more than offer world-leading product: they develop a worldwide reputation, choose fast-growing markets to enter selectively, and make "bridging" arrangements with local partners to reduce barriers associated with working in new markets.

The Conference Board study assesses how Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should enter these "next top markets", including Brazil, India, and China - but also including those in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

"Why should owners and managers of small and medium companies want to do business in challenging fast-growth markets? The reason is that these markets often yield a higher return than doing business with many of Canada's traditional trade partners, especially the United States," said Rebecca Reuber, co-author of the publication, Success in Fast-Growth Markets: Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses.

Dr. Reuber is Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She will present a webinar on the report findings Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 2 p.m.

The challenges faced by SMEs fall into two groups:

  • Politico-economic, such as cumbersome regulations that add to the cost of doing business, weak intellectual property protections, political interference or corruption, and limited access to financing for expansion to fast-growth markets; and
  • Socio-cultural, such as differences in language and culture, and differences in business practices with new markets.

Not all SMEs are suited to expand into fast-growth markets. For those that are, owners and managers should:

  • Maximize their ability to learn about new markets
  • Spend a lot of time building personal relationships
  • Innovate and develop a worldwide reputation to protect against IP risks

Policy-makers also have a role to play in fostering successful SMEs in fast-growth markets:

  • Focus government services and support on innovative companies that have a technological advantage
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of 'twinning' Canadian communities with those in other countries
  • Facilitate bridging or "experience-building" arrangements.

The research is part of the "Tool Kit for Growth Markets" series, published by the Conference Board's Global Commerce Centre. The Centre provides evidence-based tools to help companies and governments respond successfully to the trends reshaping the global business environment. The publication is available at www.e-library.ca.

SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information:

Brent Dowdall
Media Relations
Telephone: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448

Link to publication: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=5673


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