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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 finance

Access to finance, in the form and quantity needed at each stage of their life cycle, is critical for SME creation and scale-up. Yet, SMEs face difficulties in identifying and attracting appropriate sources of finance. Barriers such as information asymmetries, high transaction costs, and low levels of financial acumen of business owners explain why small businesses and entrepreneurs often face more difficulties in accessing finance than large enterprises. This chapter illustrates recent SME finance developments such as increased self-financing opportunities, an easing in SME credit conditions, more dynamic but concentrated venture capital (VC) markets and a rise in the uptake of asset-based funding solutions. This chapter shows that, while bank finance remains crucial to the financing of SMEs and entrepreneurs, alternative finance instruments have gained ground in recent years. It zooms in particular on how digitalisation is transforming SME finance and how Fintech (e.g. crowdfunding, blockchain) is likely to become a central feature in the SME finance landscape. The chapter concludes with major policy trends to support SME access to finance, e.g. a steady expansion of credit guarantees, new approaches to VC support, combining financial support with training and assistance and initiatives to reap the opportunities of Fintech and platforms.

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