SMEs in Public Procurement

Practices and Strategies for Shared Benefits

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The relevance and economic implications of public procurement – which represents 12% of GDP and one-third of government expenditures in the OECD area - make it a powerful tool for improving public service delivery. At the same time, governments are increasingly using their purchasing power to pursue strategic objectives in different policy areas such as sustainability, innovation or providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Making it easier for SMEs to access public procurement opportunities improves the general economic environment, promotes inclusive growth and supports principles such as equal treatment, open access and effective competition. This report takes stock of the approaches adopted in 37 OECD and non-OECD countries to help SMEs perform better in public procurement markets, including removing barriers to their participation. The report also describes the main features of a public procurement system that benefits both the public sector and SMEs.




Of all Estonian firms in 2014, only 0.2% were large enterprises that employ more than 250 persons. SMEs employed 78.5% of the workforce and accounted for 75.8% of value added. Of all firms, 90.6% were micro-enterprises, i.e. firms with less than 10 employees, employing 32% of the workforce and accounting for 26.6% of value added in 2014. SMEs play an important role in the Estonian economy, accounting for 73% of exported goods in 2015.


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