In recent years the emergence of so-called born-global firms, i.e. firms which start their international activities from their start up, has challenged traditional assumptions about the incremental process of internationalization and given birth to a development of a new stream of research. In order to give a contribute to this area of studies, the purpose of this paper is to empirically test some specific hypotheses to demonstrate how well some factors are able to explain the international development of born global companies. In order to reach this goal, a mail survey was conducted within a sample of Italian companies, belonging to the most significant industries for the Italian economy (metal products and machinery equipment; furniture; chemicals and food). Five significant predictors were found: uncertainty and dynamism in the firm’s industry, niche-based industries, markets’ and segments’ knowledge held by the founder/managers, product innovation and firms’ innovativeness, access to networks.
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