The role of export consortia in the internationalization of small and medium enterprises: A review


Objective: Exports are a crucial strategy for the growth and survival of firms, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, SMEs generally lack the ability to overcome internal and external export barriers and a consortium can help in their internationalization process. So the main goals of this work are to identify the main effects of a consortium on the member firms as well as gaps in existing literature.

Research Design & Methods: We resort to a review of existing empirical studies, which mainly focus on case studies of export consortia.

Findings: An export consortium can have effects in several firms’ areas, such as financial, market and reputational, helping them to overcome some export barriers.

Contribution & Value Added: Through the identification of literature weaknesses we suggest that future research should aim to be based on larger samples and take into account other factors that may affect exports in order to carry out a more rigorous empirical analysis of the effects of the consortium on firms’ exports.


internationalization; exports; consortium; strategic alliances; literature review

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Published : 2019-12-30

ForteR., & OliveiraT. (2019). The role of export consortia in the internationalization of small and medium enterprises: A review. International Entrepreneurship Review, 5(4), 7-23.

Rosa Forte
Faculty of Economics, University of Porto  Portugal
Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, and researcher at CEF.UP. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Porto.
Tiago Oliveira 
Faculty of Economics, University of Porto  Portugal

Holds a Msc in Economics from the University of Porto.

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