The following paper evaluates which external and internal variables explain what German Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) identified to be significant for successful exports to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Explanatory factors specific to the region are derived from experts and compared with results from existing research. SSA has particular requirements for successful exports which differ from other regions. Regarding micro and macro environmental factors several indicators were named by the participants. Concerning the macro factors all participants agree on the positive influence of the product origin 'Made in Germany'. Contributions to decision makers, which are illegal in Germany but offered by firms based in other countries, are the one determinant mentioned most often to influence export performance negatively. Also competition from other countries with cheaper products is identified to have a negative impact. Knowledge about the particular characteristics of the market enables managers as well as policy makers to improve trade relations. By focusing on German export performance in SSA this study fills a research gap since no scholar previously concentrated on this special aspect.
Comparative advantages, export performance, Germany, internal factors, macro environmental factors, micro environmental factors, Small and medium sized enterprises, Sub-Saharan Africa