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
The United States Small Business Administration (USSBA) broadly classifies small businesses as any firm with 500 or fewer employees.The USSBA has two different approaches for defining small firms. The first approach is to define any firm with less than 500 employees as small. This practice was first established by the Small Business Act of 1953. However, the same Act required the USSBA to establish a size standard that should vary to account for differences among industries. Second, the Act called on the USSBA to assist small businesses as a means of encouraging and strengthening their competitiveness in the economy. These two considerations are the basis for the SBA current methodology for establishing small business size standards. For further details see The US Small Business Administration (2009) SBA Size Standard Methodology. These firms account for more than 5 million businesses, or 99% of all firms. They employ slightly over half of the private sector’s employees, pay about 44% of the total private sector payroll, generate about 65% of net new private sector jobs, and create more than half of the nonfarm private Gross Domestic Product.For more details on the importance of small businesses in the US economy see The US Small Business Administration, Frequently Asked Questions.