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We investigate the financing and performance of international entrepreneurship in an environment that was characterized by severe information problems and very weak investor protection. Despite these problems, new ventures could raise large amounts of equity and debt on the Belgian capital market between 1890 and 1914. Many of these firms were international new ventures (INVs) with their main operations abroad, often far away from Belgium. We find that INVs raised much more capital but were less likely to pay a dividend than domestic new ventures (DNVs). They were less likely to issue a bond and had a higher cost of debt when operating further away from Belgium. Performance after listing was generally bad for new ventures throughout the period, but it was much worse for INVs than for DNVs. Our findings confirm contemporary arguments that unprotected, financially illiterate investors were expropriated by INV founders.