Born Globals and Born Sustainables: Motives of Accumulating Wealth and of Making a Difference in the World


  • Karin ŠIREC University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • Mahsa SAMSAMI University of Agder, Norway
  • Thomas SCHØTT University of Agder, University of Southern Denmark



Background/Purpose: This study investigates the distinct entrepreneurial motivations driving export activities and sustainability pursuits in Slovenian businesses, with a particular focus on differences between newborns and mature enterprises. The study proposes that entrepreneurs who prioritize wealth accumulation are more likely to engage in export activities, particularly those running startups, under the pressures of global trade. Conversely, in light of the shifting cultural values towards sustainability, it is hypothesized that entrepreneurs who are committed to making a difference in the world will be more inclined towards sustainability engagement, a tendency that may be more pronounced in startups.
Methods:To test these hypotheses, linear regression modelling, using data collected from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey of businesses in Slovenia was employed.
Results: Newborns, in comparison to mature businesses, are more engaged in both exporting and sustainability pursuits. Interestingly, the motives behind these activities differ significantly. Exporting is primarily driven by the pursuit of wealth accumulation, while sustainability engagement is motivated by the desire to make a positive difference in the world.
Conclusion: These findings provide valuable insights into the unique characteristics of internationalization and sustainability pursuits in startups versus mature businesses. They highlight the role of distinct entrepreneurial motivations in shaping business practices, contributing to the literature on entrepreneurship and business sustainability.

Keywords: Startups, Newborn businesses, Mature businesses, Born globals, Export activities, Sustainability engagement, Entrepreneurial motives.






Research Papers