Renewable energy market SMEs: antecedents of internationalization

Agnes Asemokha, Ali Ahi, Lasse Torkkeli, Sami Saarenketo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to provide a foundational understanding of the internationalization of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the context of renewable energy markets. The focus is on exploring and identifying the managerial-, firm- and environmental-level antecedents to their international expansion, which also furthers the understanding of the distinct SME’s internationalization context within the renewable energy market.

The study adopts a qualitative multiple case study approach in a Finnish SME context and identifies the antecedents’ relative prominence at the managerial, firm and environmental levels.

The findings indicate that, although internationalization antecedents of renewable energy SMEs differ owing to market forces such as trends, networks and changing regulatory policies, they share antecedents similar to those of SMEs in other industries.

Research limitations/implications
The main limitation of this study is its single-country home market empirical context. Future studies should expand analysis to different regulatory and regional environments.

To the authors’ knowledge, there are few studies that explore the antecedents of SMEs’ internationalization, especially in the renewable energy market context. Hence, this study contributes to the international business and entrepreneurship literature by illustrating the fundamental managerial-, firm- and environmental-level antecedents to the internationalization of SMEs operating in the renewable energy business. In addition, it highlights the peculiarities of renewable energy SMEs’ internationalization, suggesting that extant research on SMEs’ internationalization has not adequately captured the intricacies present in the internationalization of renewable energy enterprises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-447
Number of pages41
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
Issue number4
Early online date29 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


  • Internationalization of SMEs
  • International entrepreneurship
  • Renewable energy
  • Cleantech
  • Antecedents to internationalization
  • Sustainability


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