In this paper we investigate the extent of international
entrepreneurship in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Oman and Syria using a
dataset covering 3,281 firms. We find that weak technological
capabilities constrain internationalization. Firms with ISO
accreditation, an own website, and those who have introduced new
technology have a higher probability of entering export markets than
otherwise. Firms in high-tech sectors are more likely to export early.
However with foreign shareholding this advantage of high-tech firms
disappears. The results suggest that early international entrepreneurs
may need to pay more in informal payments if they want to increase the
share of their exports once they have entered into export markets. We
derive implications for policy and further research.
JEL classification codes: L26, L25, M16, O55, F23
Key words: International entrepreneurship, exports, entrepreneurial capabilities, innovation, Middle East, North Africa, MENA