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Financing Growth and Turning Data into Business

Helping SMEs Scale Up

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that scale up have long raised policy interest for their extraordinary potential in terms of job creation, innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. Yet, little is known about which firms could effectively become scalers, and what policies could effectively promote SME growth. This report is part of a series aiming to help policy makers unleash scalers’ potential. Building on new evidence from microdata work, it rethinks the nature and scope of scale up policies, suggesting the need for a broader and more cross cutting approach. The report then explores two thematic areas that are relevant for SME scaling up, i.e. SME data governance and their access to ‘scale up’ finance. Based on an international mapping of 369 institutions and 1174 policy initiatives across OECD countries, the analysis shows that SME and entrepreneurship policy is not among the core mandates of many implementing institutions, calling for sound coordination across the board and further mainstreaming of SME growth considerations in both policy areas. Moreover, national policy mixes vary significantly across countries, reflecting different approaches to promoting SME growth and to SME targeting, but also revealing possible policy blind spots.

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Implementing institutions most often have innovation policy as their core mandate

Core mandates of implementing institutions, as a relative share of mandates across all implementing institutions in the country, 2022

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