Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2020

An OECD Scoreboard

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Sufficient and affordable access to different sources of finance is crucial to enable SMEs and entrepreneurs to contribute to inclusive growth. The 9th edition of the Scoreboard on Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs provides data from 48 countries around the world on SME lending, alternative finance instruments and financing conditions, as well as information on policy initiatives to improve SME access to finance.

Lending conditions remained broadly favourable in the run-up to the COVID-19 outbreak, despite some early signals of tightening. Nevertheless, SME bank credit increased only at a modest pace in many countries and declined in some others in 2018. At the same time, the take-up by SMEs of other sources of finance, including leasing and factoring, equity crowdfunding and venture capital investments expanded significantly, suggesting that SMEs are increasingly turning to a combination of instruments.

The thematic chapter provides an overview of the evolution of SME financing policies over the last decade, from the immediate post-crisis period and the early recovery years, to the most recent policy trends.

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In general, SMEs’ access to finance is currently very good in Germany. The continued period of low interest rates has led to favourable conditions for bank finance, which is still the most important source of financing for German SMEs. Thus, the majority of SMEs report no or few difficulties to finance their investments through bank loans. However, where the market supply is not sufficient, the Federal Government provides a wide range of financial instruments to support SMEs, potential entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups so that they can implement new projects, products, processes and services.


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