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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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Portugal

In 2008, SMEs comprised 99.7% of enterprises in Portugal and employed 72.5% of the business sector labour force. Portugal complies with the EU definition for SMEs. The vast majority of enterprises are SMEs, 86% are micro-enterprises, 12% are small and 2% are medium-sized. The share of SME loans in total business loans was nearly 78% during the years 2007-10. The proportion of SME short-term loans in total SME loans ranged between 31%-33%, indicating that SME loans were mainly used to finance investment. In 2010, the global stock of business loans decreased by around EUR 2.3 billion. 83%, or EUR 1.9 billion, was related to SME loans. The share of government guaranteed loans in total SME loans grew significantly from 1% in 2007 to 7% in 2011, demonstrating the sustained public efforts to maintain SME access to finance.

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