INTERNATIONALIZATION OF SME, KEY SUCCESS FACTORS AND CHALLENGES IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
Abstract - Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) play a significant role in the global economy, and when they internationalize, it can have positive effects not only on their own growth and sustainability but also on the broader economic landscape. Particularly in the Agricultural Sector, SME internationalization can have far-reaching implications for agriculture, rural development, and global food security. However, challenges may also exist, including the competition with larger producers, infrastructure and logistics, market access barriers and compliance with standards and regulations.
The objective of this study is to comprehend the internationalization experience of SME in the Mexican Agricultural Sector to identify the key factors that, according to their perception determine their success in international markets, as well as the challenges also perceived by the firms. A sample of 40 SME were surveyed, by using an instrument divided into 3 Sections: (1) Export performance, (2) External factors, and (3) Internal factors. Some questions were simple and other multiple-choice, while some items were Likert-scale based some other were designed as open questions to deepen the perceptions of the general conditions of their international path. SPSS program as well as Atlas.ti were used to analyze the collected data. Results show that there are some coincidences in the internal and external factors perceived by the companies as relevant in the internationalization process however some important differences in the perception were also identified.
This study is relevant in the sense of the prevalence of the Agricultural sector for the Mexican Economy, even the findings came from a reduced sample, they might be at some extent appliable or useful in the understanding of the SME internationalization in other countries, especially in the Latin America area or other developing economies with similar conditions.
Keywords - Small and Medium Enterprises, Agricultural Sector, Export Performance, External Factors, Internal Factors.