Internationalization of portuguese SMEs to Brazil
: main barriers and motivations

  • Sofia Margarida Martins Jones Bicho (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Due to the growing presence and development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in foreign markets over the past years, the internationalization process especially its main drivers and barriers, have been extensively studied and discussed among scholars.This dissertation explores the process of Portuguese SMEs entering the Brazilian market, with a focus on the motivations and barriers that these companies experienced. The methodological approach used for this study was a qualitative analysis of a questionnaire that was developed, distributed, and a shared with Portuguese companies that have internationalize to Brazil.The framework of this study is the Brazilian market, one of the most populated in the world and a developing economy that represents a big market with great untapped potential. Doing business in Brazil is difficult due to numerous trade restrictions, unclear and dispersed legislation among states, and bureaucratic red tape. However, because of the close cultural links, common language, and shared history between the two nations, Portuguese businesses benefit from a shorter psychological barrier.The findings of this study allow us to draw the conclusion that the key factors leading Portuguese SMEs to internationalize to Brazil were increasing sales, international management/administration, and reducing dependency on the domestic market. The complexity of the bureaucratic processes, the market's regulations and legislation, the political and economic climate in Brazil, and the fluctuating currency rates were the most significant obstacles to entering the Brazilian market. The goal is to provide context and guidance for other companies to consider when undergoing the same experience.
Date of Award19 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRute Xavier (Supervisor)


  • Internationalization
  • Portuguese SMEs
  • Brazil
  • Barriers of internationalization
  • Drivers of internationalization


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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