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.


Process innovation: Driver of enterprise growth in the Czech Republic

Using descriptive, cluster and regression analysis of data from the EU Community Innovation Surveys, this chapter investigates the links between technological and nontechnological innovation activities and high growth in Czech SMEs in various economic sectors and for different types of firm ownership. The study finds that only certain types of innovation have some degree of impact on the fast growth of SMEs, with process innovation being the most significant influence on high growth, especially for mediumsized SMEs (50-149 employees). The analysis also reveals that there are no significant differences in factors of growth among different sectors and that fast growing SMEs tend to be more internationalised in terms of ownership and market orientation, although a clear causality link of foreign ownership and fast growth is not evidenced.


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