SMES INTERNATIONALIZATION IN CROATIA: ACTIVITIES, CHALLENGES AND MEASURES
Internationalization of small and medium enterprises is a specific process, which enables growth and development. However, internationalization brings both opportunities and challenges that SMEs do not always know how to deal with. The aim of this paper is to identify activities and challenges in the internationalization of small and medium enterprises in Croatia, as well as measures that could facilitate this process. In order to obtain these findings, the Flash Eurobarometer 421: Internationalisation of SMEs database was used as a secondary data source. Data were collected from the study which has been conducted by the European Commission. The paper analyzed 501 companies from Croatia, and dependence was sought between company and industry size and activities, challenges and assistance measures for internationalization. It has been proven that there are differences in relation to the size of the company, as well as to the industry. Based on the conducted statistical analyses it is shown that internationalized SMEs from Croatia still base this internationalization on imports and exports of goods and services and other international business activities are less developed. There is a noticeable advantage of the European Union market as the primary choice of Croatian companies for internationalization. Recommendations for SMEs focus on the better understanding of the internationalization process and proper preparation, while policy recommendations are oriented towards raising awareness of the importance of internationalization and providing an enabling ecosystem for internationalization.