OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2023

image of OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2023

Over the past few years, the global economy has suffered profound shocks that have had a marked impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs. While government support protected SMEs from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, new threats have emerged. Rising geopolitical tensions and global financial risks, high inflation, tightening monetary and fiscal policies, labour shortages, high trade barriers and slowing integration into global value chains all contribute to a more challenging business environment for SMEs. Meanwhile, there is an urgent need to accelerate the contribution of SMEs and entrepreneurship to the green and digital transitions and help them navigate a changing international trade and investment landscape. Against this background, the OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2023 provides new evidence on recent trends in SME performance, changing business conditions, and policy implications. It reflects on the broad underlying theme of SME integration into a series of networks, including global production and supply-chain networks and the role of women led-businesses in international trade, knowledge and innovation networks, and skill ecosystems, as well as the main policies in place to ensure SMEs can integrate these networks and benefit from the ongoing transformations they go through. The report also contains statistical country profiles that benchmark the 38 OECD across a set of indicators.

English Also available in: French

Knowledge and innovation networks for SMEs and start-ups

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to transform and innovate, and their participation in global and local knowledge and innovation networks is essential to leapfrog. This chapter aims to provide a forward-looking view on how SME networks may evolve in the current global context, how governments can support small businesses to participate in different networks to source the strategic assets they need, and where further policy attention could be placed. The chapter first explores the notion of networks and their impact on SME innovation, resilience and growth. It then looks at structural and emerging trends across different types of SME knowledge and innovation networks, including strategic partnerships and clusters, highlighting disruptions of increasing magnitude that these networks have experienced in recent years. The last section presents an overview of key policy orientations in the field, based on an experimental mapping of 601 national policies and 150 institutions in support of SME network expansion across the OECD.

English Also available in: French


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