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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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Thailand

There were 2.9 million SMEs (firms with less than 200 employees) in Thailand in 2010, constituting 99.6% of all enterprises and providing 78% of employment including agriculture. The economy of Thailand was hit by two major events during the period under study: political instability and the financial crisis originating in the West. The OECD publication Studies on SME and Entrepreneurship: Thailand. Key Issues and Policies (2011) found that less than half of the 2.9 million SMEs can access formal finance. This problem was compounded in Thailand by systemic volatility in financial markets. The Asian financial crisis and the recent global financial crisis have made it difficult for Thai banks to accept risky loans, not least because they were often burdened with extremely high non-performing loan rates. The lesson learned from the Asian crisis in 1997 was that adequate capital alone cannot encourage bank lending. Banks will only lend when they are comfortable with the level of credit risk.

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