NUI Galway to Host McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference

Dr Natasha Evers, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and Conference Chair: Photo: NUI Galway
Aug 25 2017 Posted: 12:02 IST

The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway will host the 21st McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference from 30 August to 1 September, the first time the conference will be hosted in the Republic of Ireland. The theme of the three-day event will address, ‘Speed, Diversity, Complexity in International Entrepreneurship.

The aim of this annual conference is to invite research papers that examine and bring to light the frontier issues related to entrepreneurial internationalisation and internationalisation of entrepreneurially oriented small firms in increasingly diverse, complex and fast-moving global markets. International entrepreneurs, international new ventures, born globals, high growth and rapidly internationalising enterprises, have significantly contributed to the growth of the global economy in recent decades.

Conference Chair, Dr Natasha Evers from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, explains: “Born global firms are unique types of entrepreneurial ventures, in that they set out with clear intention to exploit and serve a global niche market from the first day of their founding. Only in the last two decades has the study of born globals drawn significant scholarly attention, even though these firms have been around well before then, and many of which are now multinational giants such as Honda. With radical scientific advancements in sectors such as life science and medical technologies, there has been a greater urgency for Irish entrepreneurs to form born global ventures to rapidly exploit proprietary knowledge on global markets. Hosting the McGill conference this year at NUI Galway, affords us the opportunity to further strengthen our knowledge of international entrepreneurship to inform our teaching, research and policy.”

Sponsoring the ‘Best Paper’ award, born global entrepreneur, John Power, CEO of Aerogen, said: “For the Irish technology entrepreneur located on Europe’s most Westerly Isle, born global is not an option but a necessity. I think this need to internationalise early has by default created a breed of Irish entrepreneurs equally at home in Silicon Valley and Frankfurt as Galway, and the enriched pool of global business experience brought home will help drive our future innovation, culture and economy.”

The conference will bring together state-of-the art International Entrepreneurship research from academic scholars in over 20 countries including Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Brazil, Columbia, Spain, China, and Italy.

Dr Evers adds: “Once their profit potential is established we have seen many capital-intensive Irish grown born globals such as those in the medtech sector, being acquired by multinationals as part of the venture capital exit strategy. We need more Irish born globals that ‘grow global’, in terms of scaling themselves up into bigger international firms for sustainable job creation in Ireland and economic impact. This is not just an Irish issue but a European one, hence the focus of the policy and research agenda for Irish SMEs needs to identify more effective measures to support Irish born global firms to grow global.”  

The event will feature renowned co-founder of the conference and editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Entrepreneurship (Springer), Professor Hamid Etemad, McGill University, Canada; Professor Alistair R Anderson, Robert Gordon University, Scotland; Professor Antonella Zucchella, University of Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge and Milan; and Professor Olli Kuivalainen, University of Manchester and Lappeenranta, University of Technology, Finland. 

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