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Emerging and developing economies

Special Track
This special track has been developed by Maria Elo and Yi Wang, SDU, in cooperation with Philippe Rudaz, Geneva, Switzerland and Elie Chrysostome, CEDIMES Institute, USA

Emerging and developing economies - Challenges and opportunities of international entrepreneurship

Since the wave of attention on BRICs, the discussions on emerging and developing economies have become more polyphonic, the relevance of particular regions has become more recognized and research agendas have been introduced for international entrepreneurship (e.g. Dana, Etemad & Wright, 2004; Kiss, Danis, & Cavusgil, 2012; Alon & Rottig, 2013). For example, Sub-Saharan Africa or the megacities of the southern hemisphere, like Dhaka, Jakarta, Lagos, are gaining increasing attention as markets (e.g. World Bank, 2019). 

There are numerous challenges from institutional environment to marketing operations that generate bottlenecks and impediments for international entrepreneurship, forming different underpinnings for business (Kumar, Mudambi & Gray, 2013). However, the population development of many developing settings provide distinct and very different opportunities for business and entrepreneurship than aging developed countries. Countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Nigeria with large and young populations are drawing entrepreneurial activity towards their potential alongside with other actors in global production networks.

The Bottom-of-the-Pyramid concept, the new frontier economies-perspective and related research, especially in international marketing, have further underlined the meaning of these markets in the future (e.g. Simanis & Duke, 2014). The opportunities relating to local supply and demand constellations are often neglected while the production and cost-driven views dominated by MNEs have been the focus of many research domains.  However, savvy entrepreneurs are increasingly investing and operating in countries where some PESTEL analysis could keep more risk-sensitive firms out, even multinationals (Rana & Elo, 2017; Dana & Ratten, 2017). Typically, multinational enterprises complain about the difficulties and risks in operating in developing context. 

In prior research, the role of international entrepreneurs in shaping the business landscape and ecosystems has been found influential and even central, indicating internationalization both ways (e.g. Yamakawa, Peng, & Deeds, 2008). Therefore, it is highly interesting to explore and understand the crucial role of SMEs and entrepreneurs in developing and shaping the business in and from these demanding contexts (e.g. Valliere & Peterson, 2009; Robson, Haugh & Obeng, 2009; Ratten, 2014; Ado, Chrysostome & Su, 2016). For example, there is reason to expect that the engagement of transnational diaspora and migrant entrepreneurs who span the boundaries of two or more markets is beneficial for economic development and international business (e.g. Riddle & Brinkerhoff, 2011; Elo & Minto-Coy, 2018).

We welcome contributions related to following topics and beyond:
  • Entrepreneurial internationalization from and in emerging and developing countries
  • Emerging market mini-multinationals and family groups
  • Emerging hotspots and entrepreneurial ecosystems 
  • Exploration and exploitation of opportunities in emerging and developing countries
  • Transnational diaspora entrepreneurship in developing and emerging markets
  • Social innovation and social business models in and from developing countries
  • Challenges, entrepreneurial strategies and forms of resilience 
  • Capacity building in international entrepreneurship in developing countries
  • Institutional frameworks of international entrepreneurship



Ado, A., Chrysostome, E. & Su, Z. (2016). Adaptation strategies of African immigrant entrepreneurs in China: an exploratory study in Guangdong. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Vol. 21(4):1-25.
Alon, I., & Rottig, D. (2013). Entrepreneurship in emerging markets: New insights and directions for future research. Thunderbird International Business Review, 55(5), 487-492.
Dana, L. P., & Ratten, V. (2017). International entrepreneurship in resource-rich landlocked African countries. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 15(4), 416-435.
Dana, L. P., Etemad, H., & Wright, R. W. (2004). Back to the future: international entrepreneurship in the new economy. Jones, Marian V.; Dimitriatos, Pavlos: Emerging Paradigms in International Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham/Northampton: Elgar, 19-34.
Elo, M., & Minto-Coy, I. (Eds.). (2018). Diaspora Networks in International Business: Perspectives for Understanding and Managing Diaspora Business and Resources. Cham, Springer.
Kiss, A. N., Danis, W. M., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2012). International entrepreneurship research in emerging economies: A critical review and research agenda. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(2), 266-290.
Kumar, V., Mudambi, R., & Gray, S. (2013). Internationalization, innovation and institutions: the 3 I's underpinning the competitiveness of emerging market firms. Journal of International Management, 19(3), 203-206.
Rana, M. B., & Elo, M. (2017). Transnational diaspora and civil society actors driving MNE internationalisation: the case of Grameenphone in Bangladesh. Journal of International Management, 23(1), 87-106.
Ratten, V. (2014). Future research directions for collective entrepreneurship in developing countries: a small and medium-sized enterprise perspective. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 22(2), 266-274.
Riddle, L., & Brinkerhoff, J. (2011). Diaspora entrepreneurs as institutional change agents: The case of Thamel. com. International Business Review, 20(6), 670-680.
Robson, P. J., Haugh, H. M., & Obeng, B. A. (2009). Entrepreneurship and innovation in Ghana: enterprising Africa. Small Business Economics, 32(3), 331-350.
Simanis, E., & Duke, D. (2014). Profits at the bottom of the pyramid. Harvard Business Review, 92(10), 86-93.
Valliere, D., & Peterson, R. (2009). Entrepreneurship and economic growth: Evidence from emerging and developed countries. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 21(5-6), 459-480.
World Bank (2019) (accessed 26.2.2019)
Yamakawa, Y., Peng, M. W., & Deeds, D. L. (2008). What drives new ventures to internationalize from emerging to developed economies?. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 32(1), 59-82.

Last Updated 29.03.2019