AbstractThis study examines the growth and internationalisation challenges of SMEs in emerging and developed economies with particular emphasis on Nigeria and the United Kingdom. The study amongst others examined the performance of SMEs in both countries, measures the internationalisation of participating SMEs and tests the awareness of and familiarity with the provisions of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) amongst the Nigerian SMEs. It also examines and critically compares the growth and internationalisation challenges of SMEs in Nigeria with SMEs in the United Kingdom. Finally, the Fisher’s exact test is used to establish the statistical association between internationalisation and growth and whether or not growth is a necessary precondition for internationalisation.
In conducting the study, a semi-structured questionnaire was used to conduct detailed interviews with 20 Nigerian SMEs and 14 SMEs in the United Kingdom. In addition, partial interviews were conducted with 30 SMEs in Nigeria and 35 SMEs in the United Kingdom. The findings revealed that SMEs in the United Kingdom demonstrated a better performance in all three growth indicators compared to SMEs in Nigeria. It also showed that the internationalisation exposure of SMEs in the United Kingdom was comparatively higher than SMEs in Nigeria. With respect to the test of awareness and familiarity with the provisions of the ETLS, the study concludes that a significant majority of participating SMEs were aware of the scheme. That notwithstanding, more than half of these SMEs lacked proper understanding of it and only 15% were registered to participate.
The study also finds that although SMEs in both countries had their peculiar growth and internationalisation challenges, these challenges were more pronounced for Nigerian SMEs compared to SMEs in the United Kingdom. The findings of the Fisher’s test revealed that there is no statistically significant association between internationalisation and growth. This implies that internationalisation is independent of growth and vice-versa irrespective of where the company is based. Thus, growth is not a necessary precondition for the internationalisation of an SME.
|Date of Award||Sept 2022|
|Supervisor||Rob Hayward (Supervisor) & Steve Reeve (Supervisor)|