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SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Small firms are playing an ever-increasing role in innovation, driven by changes in technologies and markets. Some spin-offs and high growth firms are having remarkable success. However, the broad bulk of small firms are not capitalising on their advantages. This book explores how government policy can boost innovation by improving the environment for entrepreneurship and small firm development and increasing the innovative capacities of enterprises. Policy findings and recommendations are presented in three key areas: embedding firms in knowledge flows; developing entrepreneurship skills; and social entrepreneurship.  In addition, country notes present statistics and policy data on SMEs, entrepreneurship and innovation for 40 economies, including OECD countries, Brazil, China, Estonia, Indonesia, Israel, the Russian Federation, Slovenia and South Africa.

SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation is part of the OECD Innovation Strategy, a comprehensive policy strategy to harness innovation for stronger and more sustainable growth and development, and to address the key global challenges of the 21st century.

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Introduction

The introduction examines what is new about innovation in the 21st century and the role played by SMEs and entrepreneurship. An important shift has occurred from the “managed” to the “entrepreneurial” economy, associated with a fall in the importance of economies of scale in production, management, finance and R&D. It is characterised by a series of trends encompassing the emergence of the knowledge economy, open innovation, global connections, non-technological innovation, the “Silicon Valley Business Model” and social entrepreneurship and social innovation. SMEs and new business ventures are important players in this new environment. They have a key role in processes of creative destruction, knowledge exploitation, breakthrough and incremental innovation, and interactive learning. Ensuring they reach their full potential requires a new innovation policy approach that facilitates entrepreneurship and SME innovation. Priorities include inserting new and small firms in knowledge transfer networks, strengthening entrepreneurship skills, and improving institutional environments for social entrepreneurship.

English

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