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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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Sweden

SMEs constitute 99.9% of Swedish enterprises and employ 63.5% of the labour force. The majority of SMEs use the commercial banking sector when seeking external finance. Since no data were available through supply-side surveys, the loans were based on a proxy (enterprise liabilities) obtained from tax record information. Using tax information creates a lag of 18 months in terms of its availability. Both total business loans and SME loans increased between 2007 and 2009. The SME share in business loans was almost constant at 88% between 2007 and 2008 and increased to 92% in 2009. The high share of SME loans in business loans could possibly be explained by the fact that intercompany loans, an important component of the debt of large companies, have been excluded. If one firm raises capital from the market and is acting as the bank within the enterprise group, then these loans might not be included if the bank is classified as a financial company or if it is located abroad.

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