Barriers to the Internationalization of Czech SMEs
Since the beginning of the 90th of the last century Small and Medium Sized Enterprises have gained a high boom in the Czech Republic. Many Czech SMEs entered foreign markets, benefiting from the highly competitive operating environment in the Czech Republic. In a globalized world, SMEs need to be able to confront an increasing competition from developed and emerging economies and to plug into the new market opportunities these countries provide. There is a direct link between internationalization and increased SMEs performance. International activities reinforce growth, enhance competitiveness and support the long term sustainability of companies. Yet Czech SMEs still depend largely on their domestic markets despite the opportunities brought by the enlarged single market and by globalization at large.The aim of this article is to examine the main barriers of internationalization, to explore managerial competencies for cross-border business cooperation and to give some hints how the problems concerning the internationalization process could be solved. The article has both theoretical and empirical parts. The theoretical part is aimed at general issues concerning the topic of this article, the empirical one is based on research using semi-structured interviews and the questionnaire investigating entrepreneurs.During this research performed in 2016 – 2017, 110 small and medium sized businesses were investigated to collect data. The paper answers the following research questions: Are you interested in cooperation with a foreign business partner? How are you prepared for the internationalization process? Are you motivated or not? What are the main barriers to your business internationalization? Thanks to this research the author found that the basic prerequisites of success in the internationalization process are a continuous preparation of entrepreneurs and their motivation for entering the international business.