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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.

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High-growth firms in Switzerland: Analysis of 11 firms

This chapter analyses eleven case studies of innovative and high growth SMEs in Switzerland in various economic sectors. The authors find that a variety of elements impinge on the performance of the studied firms, namely the vision, experience and leadership of the firms’ managers; the innovative activities of the firm; business practices (e.g. in terms of market access, product quality, marketing activities, etc.); networking activities; the management and protection of intangible assets; and financing practices. The chapter also analyses the demographic characteristics of Swiss SMEs and their impact on employment.

English

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