ISLAND ENTREPRENEURS: INSIGHTS FROM EXCEPTIONALLY SUCCESSFUL KNOWLEDGE-DRIVEN SMES FROM 5 EUROPEAN ISLAND TERRITORIES
Developing successful, indigenously-owned, small scale, export-oriented, manufacturing firms from small island locations is difficult but not impossible. This paper describes key outcomes of a research project which is reviewing a selection of such successful firms from 5 European island territories. Operating in the information and communication technology sector allows small island firms to compete successfully in export markets. They often do so by depending on the wide, 'extra-island' contacts and experiences of their 'global-local' entrepreneurial founder-owners, who often leverage start-up funds from private and personal sources. The absence of notable local market opportunities induces island entrepreneurs to 'export or perish', obliging a competitive strategy from inception.
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