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.

English Also available in: French


SMEs, defined as firms with up to 250 employees, constitute 99.6% of Swiss enterprises and employ 66.6% of the labour force. Switzerland resisted the financial crisis better than other OECD countries for a number of reasons. Switzerland is known for its business-friendly policies and flexibility in working hours. It has benefited from an influx of highly educated workers and an early transition from traditional manufacturing to specialised growth areas. These factors contributed to low unemployment rates and a maintenance of domestic demand. This is not to say that Switzerland was entirely immune to the financial crisis, as one of its largest banks got caught up in the subprime crisis and had to be bailed out. Despite this, both SME and total business loans continued to grow during the crisis, albeit at a much slower pace. The share of SME loans in total business loans was over 81% in 2007. It was not possible to compare the 2007 ratio with 2010 because of definitional changes at the national level and reporting errors at a major bank.

English Also available in: French



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