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OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019

image of OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019

The new OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook presents the latest trends in performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and provides a comprehensive overview of business conditions and policy frameworks for SMEs and entrepreneurs.

This year’s edition provides comparative evidence on business dynamism, productivity growth, wage gaps and export trends by firm size across OECD countries and emerging economies. It explores the implications of digitalisation and globalisation for market conditions and SME access to strategic resources such as finance, skills, technology, data and other innovation assets. The report gives comparative analysis of regulatory frameworks and policies to enhance contributions by SMEs and entrepreneurs, and delivers a forward-looking perspective on the opportunities and challenges SMEs and entrepreneurs face in doing business and scaling up their activities. It also contains country profiles outlining the latest developments in national SME performance and business conditions, with expanded country profiles available on line.

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Institutional and regulatory framework

Effective product and labour market regulations, taxation, competition, insolvency regimes, contract enforcement, civil justice systems and public governance are key to ensure that businesses of all sizes compete on a level playing field, encourage risk-taking by entrepreneurs and incentivise business investment. Regulatory inefficiencies, complexities and high compliance costs are particularly detrimental to new firms and SMEs, which are affected disproportionately by regulatory burdens or face greater constraints than large firms in seeking legal redress. This chapter presents recent developments in institutional and regulatory frameworks, discussing implications for SMEs and entrepreneurship. It illustrates cross-country progress in reducing regulatory barriers on entrepreneurship and administrative burdens on start-ups and SMEs, such as through smart regulation, reforms in taxation and the strengthening of e-government functions, hinging on a comprehensive infrastructure for information exchange across government bodies, individuals and businesses. It also highlights that the pace of structural reforms has slowed down in recent years, and comments on areas in which progress is slow or uneven across countries, including the ex-post evaluation of norms and policies, insolvency regimes, enforcement of competition laws and civil justice systems. The chapter concludes on recent policy initiatives aiming to implement a user-centric approach to regulation and policy making, enhancing transparency and efficiency in public services and legal frameworks, and leveraging digital technologies and Big Data for better public administration and regulation.

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