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Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2012

An OECD Scoreboard

image of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2012

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.

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Finland

In 2010, 99.4% of all firms in Finland were SMEs (107 934 SMEs), and they employed approximately 60% of the labour force. More than 83% were micro-enterprises with less than 1-9 employees. Total business loans decreased over three years (2007-09) but rebounded in 2010. SME loans declined even faster between 2007 and 2009 and experienced no rebound in 2010. Thus, their share of business loans plummeted from 27.1% (2007) to 14.4% (2010). According to the Bank of Finland, "the MFI data collection scheme was revised as of June 2010, and hence the figures published are not totally comparable with earlier observations. The differences may be due to improved data collection accuracy, revised statistical definitions (e.g. extending the definition of overdrafts and credit card credit to include revolving credits) and the collection of detailed data from all MFIs." (Bank of Finland, www.suomenpankki.fi, November 2011) This indicates that SMEs faced tougher credit conditions than larger enterprises causing some of these SMEs to seek government assistance. As would be expected during a recession, there was a larger drop-off in SME long-term loans than in short-term loans. Their share in SME loans declined from 78.9% (2007) to 74% (2010).

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