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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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Access to innovation assets

If access to innovation assets is critical for firms to compete in a knowledge-based economy, the challenge is particularly acute for SMEs. SMEs face specific barriers in finding and managing the technology, data and networks that enable innovating. SMEs also engage less in R&D and, while they are more dependent on external sources of knowledge, they are also less well integrated into knowledge networks. This chapter presents recent developments in innovation diffusion in SMEs. It explains how SMEs can benefit from new business models and organisational practices that require greater product differentiation and shorter time-to-market. It takes stock of SME digital transformation through cloud computing or big data analytics. The report explains the importance of data as a source of competitiveness and the specificity of SME strategies in terms of data protection, as well as the role of open innovation and the platform economy in scaling up SME networks. The chapter concludes with recent policy developments for innovation diffusion in SMEs, e.g. by accelerating their digital transition, better targeting innovation support packages to smaller firms, often on a place-based or sector-wide basis, building clusters, incubators and accelerators, enacting open data and adapting intellectual property rights framework to SMEs.

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