Access to finance represents one of the most significant challenges for entrepreneurs and for the creation, survival and growth of small businesses. As governments address this challenge, they are running up against a major and longstanding obstacle to policy making: insufficient evidence and data. Better data is needed to understand the financing needs of SMEs and entrepreneurs and to provide the basis for informed institutional and public policy decisions.
This first edition of "Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs: An OECD Scoreboard" represents a major step in addressing this obstacle by establishing a comprehensive international framework for monitoring SMEs’ and entrepreneurs’ access to finance over time. Comprising 18 countries, including Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Scoreboard presents data for a number of debt, equity and financing framework condition indicators. Taken together, they provide governments and other stakeholders with a tool to understand SMEs’ financing needs, to support the design and evaluation of policy measures and to monitor the implications of financial reforms on SMEs’ access to finance.
- 19 Apr 2012
SMEs comprise 99.6% of enterprises in the Netherlands and employ 68% of the labour force. The Netherlands does not have a definition of SMEs that is applicable to all situations. The national definition conforms to the EU definition of less than 250 employees. However, the Central Bank of the Netherlands uses loan size of less than EUR 1 million to define an SME loan. Furthermore, each bank uses its own reporting system, constituting a challenge to the aggregation of loan data of importance to policy makers.