Chapter 31. Mexico

Figure 31.1. Structure and performance of the SME sector in Mexico
Figure 31.1. Structure and performance of the SME sector in Mexico

Note: A Data refer to establishments for Mexico, and enterprises for OECD. Data cover the business economy (ISIC Rev.4 05-82 excluding 64-66). For Mexico, micro firms have 1-10 persons employed (OECD: 1-9); small, 11-50 persons (OECD: 10-49); medium, 51-250 (OECD: 50-249); and large, 251+ (OECD: 250+); Note: B. Data refer to establishments.

Sources: Charts A, C, D: OECD Structural and Demographic Business Statistics Database 2018,; Chart B, D: OECD Structural and Demographic Business Statistics Database 2018; All enterprise Business Demography dataset.


SME business conditions and access to strategic resources

Institutional and regulatory framework

The framework conditions for SMEs and entrepreneurship have improved in recent years, thanks to broader reforms, as well as to a number of targeted initiatives. The creation of INADEM in 2013 aims to streamline SME policy regulations and increase transparency in funding allocation. In 2016, the government also created a new legal entity through the Commercial Corporations Law: the Simplified Actions Corporation (Sociedad por Acciones Simplificadas or SAS), which allows firms to be created within 24 hours through a digital platform, at zero cost.

Market conditions

In light of ongoing discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement, including a renegotiation of SME policies, INADEM has recently focused on supporting industries that might be more vulnerable to changes, but that also hold high potential for growth and diversification abroad, such as aerospace and machinery. Public procurement is used strategically to support business innovation. CompraNet 5.0, an electronic procurement platform, functions as a database of open public tenders, providing a range of information for suppliers and reducing transaction costs. In 2015, comprehensive technical support was added to increase its accessibility to users.


Mexico’s ICT infrastructures are poorly developed, partly due to limited competition among domestic network providers. The intensity of domestic ICT investment remains low and there are relatively few e-government initiatives. Also, adoption rates of ICT by SMEs is well below the OECD average. In 2016, Mexico licensed the 700 MHz band in the context of the creation of a 4G mobile wholesale access network, the Red Compartida. This network went live in 2018 and can be upgraded to the latest mobile technology releases, including 5G, once they are commercially available.

Access to finance

Loan volumes to Mexican SMEs have increased in recent years, although bank credit to the private sector remains low by OECD standards. The government stepped up efforts to broaden access to formal financial services through the 2016 National Policy on Financial Inclusion. Launched in 2016, the programme Mujeres PYME supports the development of female-owned SMEs by providing access to preferential financing and business development tools. In addition, a youth credit programme, supported by loan guarantees by the National Institute for Entrepreneurs (INADEM), was launched in 2015 for people aged between 18-35 years, based on viability of business plans.

Access to skills

Vocational Education and Training (VET) plays an important social role in Mexico and the government has aimed to strengthen the dual training system through greater involvement of the private sector and an increasing number of apprenticeships among firms. Coverage remains below the OECD average, however. INADEM, in collaboration with chambers of commerce and training agencies, launched a programme in 2015-16 that encourages ICT adoption and managerial skills upgrading among micro firms. The scheme addresses areas such as inventory management, accounting, customer relationships, micro-market analysis and, repayment capability.

Access to innovation assets

The Special Programme for Science, Technology and Innovation (PECITI) (2014-18) aims to transform Mexico into a knowledge-based economy by: 1) increasing national investment in STI; 2) forming highly qualified human resources in science and technology; 3) strengthening regional development; 4) promoting science-industry linkages; and 5) developing the S&T infrastructure. A new tax credit regime for R&D was introduced in 2017, allowing for a corporate income tax deduction of 30% for R&D investments. In addition, the High-Impact Entrepreneurship Programme, launched in 2015, supports knowledge-based innovative SMEs through a matching grant scheme.

The full country profile is available at


OECD (2018), Going for Growth 2018 - Mexico Country Note, (accessed on 10 August 2018).

OECD (2017), OECD Economic Surveys: Mexico 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris,

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