OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Papers

The series provides comparative evidence and analysis on SME and entrepreneurship performance and trends and on a broad range of policy areas, including SME financing, innovation, productivity, skills, internationalisation, and others.


Enhancing SME productivity

Policy highlights on the role of managerial skills, workforce skills and business linkages

Based on an extensive review of the academic and policy literature, this paper focuses on the role of managerial skills, workforce skills and business linkages in enhancing SME productivity. The paper is structured as follows. First, it presents estimates on productivity gaps by firm size to show that, while SMEs are on average less productive than large companies, productivity gaps change significantly depending on the specific size and sector of the firm. Second, it provides an overview on the main firm-level drivers of SME productivity, i.e. factors internal to the firm that directly affect SME performance, such as managerial and workforce skills, the use of ICT, R&D investments, etc. Third, it delves into the relation between SME productivity, on the one hand, and managerial skills, workforce skills and business linkages, on the other, which has been investigated through three thematic workshops organised by the OECD in collaboration with the Government of Mexico over the period 2016-2018..


Keywords: SME, Skills, entrepreneurship,, Business linkages
JEL: J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; L53: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy / Enterprise Policy; L26: Industrial Organization / Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior / Entrepreneurship
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