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  Learning From the Entrepreneurial Icebreakers  Premium

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This article shares the insights of "entrepreneurial icebreakers" -- business pioneers who launched private companies in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall and who expanded beyond national borders by clearing pathways for themselves and others into international markets around the globe. In documenting the obstacles they had to cut through to get to where they are today, we show the path to break inflexible, outdated structures by introducing new dynamics, redefining value creation and changing mind-sets. Their insights are especially relevant to anyone launching a business in a transition economy where the entrepreneurial opportunities and growth prospects may be greater than in mature markets -- but only if one learns how to operate like an entrepreneurial icebreaker.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "Internationalization Approaches" shows the different strategies that entrepreneurial icebreakers adopted as they expanded.

Examples Cited:
Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel, Krzysztof Domarecki, Selena, PKF Betar, Renat Fardeev, CKD Slany, LINET, Fx3x, Solaris, Big Filter, United States Agency for International Development, USAID, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Georgia, Russia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Poland

Research Basis:
Based on a four-year research project done in collaboration with 18 other entrepreneurship professors from across Central and Eastern Europe, culminating in the book, Entrepreneurial Icebreakers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

About the Authors:
M. Julia Prats is an associate professor of Entrepreneurship at IESE.

Marc Sosna is a project manager and research fellow at IESE.

Sylwia Sysko-Romanczuk is a professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Warsaw University of Technology Business School.
This article is based on:  Learning From the Entrepreneurial Icebreakers
Publisher:  IESE
Year:  2014
Language:  English