Institutions and internationalization of SMEs in an emerging African economy: the moderating role of sustainable entrepreneurship

Adeniyi Damilola Olarewaju, Sunday Abayomi Adebisi, Olusoji James George, Lizbeth Alicia Gonzalez-Tamayo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter highlights the often overlooked but important nature of sustainable entrepreneurship in understanding internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of an emerging African economy. Due to institutional peculiarities and influence of government in emerging economies, government institutional support was employed as a proxy for the institutional environment and integrated into the conceptual model. Institutional theory and triple bottom line theory served as the theoretical framework, and 141 valid data samples were obtained from early internationalizing new ventures in Nigeria. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted while hierarchical moderated regression analysis was employed to test all hypothesized relationships. Findings showed that government institutional support is weak, attesting to the institutional void paradigm. However, sustainable entrepreneurship practice not only significantly predicts international performance of SMEs; it moderates the weak effect of government inefficiencies on SMEs’ internationalization. Chief executive officers’ education and firm size are also germane to SMEs’ internationalization. Implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for International Entrepreneurship
EditorsChristian Felzensztein, Sascha Fuerst
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 80392 568 4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameA Research Agenda for International Entrepreneurship


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