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International and Cross Border Entrepreneurship: The Case of Greece and Bulgaria


  • Ioannis Katsikis
  • Garyfallos Fragidis
  • Dimitrios Paschaloudis


Although neighboring countries and both members of the EU, Greece and Bulgaria have very different social and economic environments in which entrepreneurial activities take place. At the same time, there are strong entrepreneurial ties between private firms of the two countries, initiated by organizations how see those different environments as opportunities to further develop their business by operating across the borders. This fact has result to a large number of private and public firms, mainly from the Greek side, that have moved their operations in Bulgaria as well as to many Bulgarian citizens who commute to the Greek side looking for work. Although this phenomenon has been well descripted in the literature, the research on understanding the actual reasons is only minimal. In this paper, we map the entrepreneurial and investment activities between the two countries in order to better understand cross-border activities of the firms. In order to do so, we use quantitative data covering both entrepreneurial activities, such as joint ventures and the direct investments between the two countries in an effort to understand the direction, the spatial concentration and the sectoral dissemination of the entrepreneurial activities undertaken. We analyze data relevant to the existing cross border entrepreneurial activities and their orientation and both quantitative and qualitative information for the firms, joint ventures, public - private partnerships and other forms of formal collaborations. Our analysis provides interesting results for the specific organizations, the conditions and targets for which they choose to cross the borders. Furthermore, our research sheds light on the competences and the competitive advantages those firms try to gain. Based on those results, our paper concludes by providing insights on the regional and organizational strategies for the internationalization and the development of bilateral collaboration between the organizations of the two countries that could contribute positively in responding to the current economic crisis in Greece. Keywords: cross border cooperation, international entrepreneurship, Greece, Bulgaria JEL Codes: L26, F23, F21

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  • Ioannis Katsikis & Garyfallos Fragidis & Dimitrios Paschaloudis, 2012. "International and Cross Border Entrepreneurship: The Case of Greece and Bulgaria," ERSA conference papers ersa12p779, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p779

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johnson, Andreas, 2006. "The Effects of FDI Inflows on Host Country Economic Growth," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 58, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Kamaras, Antonis, 2001. "A capitalist diaspora: the Greeks in the Balkans," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3327, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    More about this item


    cross border cooperation; international entrepreneurship; greece; bulgaria jel codes: l26; f23; f21;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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