A Kienbaum Study

Quo vadis, German Mittelstand?

Study
By
Jörg Breiski, Julius Deppenkemper, Lukas M. Fastenroth, Falk Runge
| 17. June 2021
Due to today’s global competition, cross-border supply chains and the need to foster companies‘ innovative abilities, internationalized German SMEs are facing increasingly complex challenges. The recent pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the “backbone of Germany’s economy”: It has exposed the fragility of international value chains and highlighted the shortcomings in terms of digitalization.

This study provides a closer look at the globally operating SME sector in light of these macroeconomic developments.

In addition to assessing companies’ investment behavior and countermeasures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the study provides an overview of current international business activities and future target markets. Furthermore, it examines the internationalization strategies of Mittelstand firms and their business prospects as such – from the motives for market selection and the obstacles and requirements for market entry to the relevant success factors for future operations abroad.