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Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2012

An OECD Scoreboard

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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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Korea

SMEs constitute 98.9% of industrial enterprises and employ 71% of the industrial labour force in Korea. SME and total business loans increased over the period under study. SME loan shares were calculated on the basis of total business loans outstanding (i.e. stocks). SME loans increased between 2007 and 2009, but in 2010 they declined by 0.6%. The decline was due to the restructuring of junk bonds and the banks’ conservative management. The SME share of business loans declined from 86.8% (2007) to 81.5% (2010) and most of this decline occurred between 2007 and 2008 when larger firm loans were experiencing faster loan growth. The share of short-term loans in total SME loans increased over the period, as the need for working capital took precedence over investments. SMEs continued to have access to credit despite the alarming rates of increase in non-performing SME loans: 124% between 2007 and 2008 and 44.5% between 2008 and 2009. Data for non-performing loans include domestic and foreign currency loans.

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