Internationalization of immigrant-owned SMEs The role of language

Immigrant entrepreneurs have become increasingly important to economic development, and there is substantial debate regarding their enhanced potential to expand their activities across national borders. However, research regarding how immigrant-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engage in internationalization and how entrepreneurs’ native languages might influence such processes remains in its infancy. Drawing on a sample of 3077 Canadian SMEs, we evaluated the impact of immigrant ownership and the moderating role of native language on companies’ decisions to export to global markets and to the English-speaking regional market. Immigrant ownership generally fostered a global orientation, particularly for French and Allophone owners.

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