High-Growth Enterprises

What Governments Can Do to Make a Difference

image of High-Growth Enterprises

The spectacular success of several well-known new ventures in technological fields, which in little more than a decade have jumped from the state of start-ups to that of top international businesses, has pointed to innovation as a key factor in the high growth of firms.  These high-growth enterprises often drive job creation and innovation, so policy makers are increasingly making such companies a key focus. Specifically, how can government policy foster the creation of more high-growth enterprises; what are the growth factors, and how can they be leveraged; what are the appropriate ways to provide such support?

To help answer these questions, this report presents findings from two new research studies: (1) reports from 15 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia) that provide interesting insights into the operations of and challenges faced by high-growth enterprises; (2) a policy survey by the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, which reviewed more than 340 programmes that policy makers in 24 countries have put in place to support the growth of enterprises. 

Some of this report’s findings may surprise: any firm can be a growth company; growth is almost always a temporary phase; high-growth small firms are funded mostly by debt, not equity. These and many more insights are summarised and analysed, providing policy makers with ideas on how to power growth at the firm level.


Finland: Intellectual asset management among high-growth SMEs

This chapter analyses the innovation activities and formal and informal methods of protection of intellectual assets used by a sample of high growth and non-high growth SMEs in manufacturing and service sectors in Finland. The authors find that there are no important differences between HGSMEs and non-HGSMEs in terms of innovative activities and that there is no significant relationship between the level of innovativeness and firm growth. In terms of intellectual asset management and protection methods their findings suggest that informal and formal methods are not mutually exclusive or competing but rather support each other and that HGSMEs appear more active using formal protection practices than non-HGSMEs. Regarding sectoral differences the authors find that protection strategies in the services sectors are mainly based on diffusing information among the firms’ employees and on documenting tacit knowledge whereas the manufacturing sectors base more their strategies on restricting employees’ access to sensitive information.


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