The OECD Committee on SMEs and Entrepreneurship is developing principles for effective, efficient and coherent SME and entrepreneurship policies.
What's the issue?
SMEs and entrepreneurs constitute the backbone of economies in OECD countries and beyond. They are front and centre to ensure strength and quality of the post-COVID19 recovery and that the pathway to grow is sustainable, cleaner and more inclusive. However, SMEs and entrepreneurs often face specific challenges in their growth and access to resources, and in adapting to major transitions. The policies to support them range from framework conditions, generic measures to support the business population to more targeted measures for SMEs and entrepreneurs. As such, often a wide number of Ministries and agencies across government at both central and subnational level are involved. This makes SME and entrepreneurship a complex domain to deliver effective, efficient and coherent policies.
In 2019, the OECD set out on an ambitious journey to develop an SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy. Like other Strategies the OECD has developed, such as on innovation, skills and green growth, the OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy aims to provide an evidence-based and holistic framework to support countries in developing coherent, effective and efficient SME and entrepreneurship policies. This ambition reflects the widely acknowledged importance of SMEs and entrepreneurs for inclusive and sustainable growth, and the need to ensure an effective cross-cutting policy approach towards SMEs and entrepreneurs in light of the many policies and government levels engaged. The COVID-19 pandemic, which strongly affected SMEs and entrepreneurs world-wide and triggered unprecedented government action, made the ambitions of the Strategy even more important and urgent.
What will the SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy deliver?
As part of the OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy, a set of guiding principles is being developed, which reflect key aspects of SME and entrepreneurship policies and can support policy makers:
This figure shows the topics the 15 principles will address.
Principles related to policy coordination and governance:
Principles related to transitions and resilience:
Principles related to access to resources:
1. Whole-of-government and multi-level governance
Co-ordinate and align SME and entrepreneurship policy across government entities and levels through effective governance mechanisms and place based-approaches, in line with each country’s institutional setting, circumstances and needs.
2. Cross-cutting approach
Ensure that implications for SMEs and entrepreneurs are considered across the diverse policy areas that influence their prospects and outcomes in order to enhance policy synergies, address potential trade-offs and reduce administrative burdens, including through increased attention to their specificities and circumstances in policy and regulatory design, SME tests and evaluations, consultation mechanisms, streamlined processes and user-centric approaches in implementation
3. Diversity of SMEs and entrepreneurs
Take account of the diversity of SMEs and entrepreneurs throughout policy making, by assessing implications for different types of SMEs and entrepreneurs, adopting policy relevant typologies and collecting granular data on SME and entrepreneur key features, performance and behaviour.
4. Monitoring and evaluation
Put in place robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that systematically assess policies for their SME and entrepreneurship impacts, using relevant data and methodologies and feeding results in new policy initiatives.
5. Digital transformation
Support the adoption of digital technologies, services and data by all SMEs and entrepreneurs in line with their needs, digital maturity and aspirations by enhancing access to digital infrastructure; strengthening digital skills, data literacy and management of digital security risk; and ensuring open and well-functioning markets for digital goods and services.
6. Green transition
Encourage and enable SMEs and entrepreneurs to transition to sustainable business models, practices and technologies, and to drive green innovations, taking into account their specificities and needs in environmental policies; fostering their access to resources, including sustainable finance; and supporting their adoption of circular economy strategies.
7. Internationalisation and participation in global value chains
Enhance SMEs and entrepreneurs participation in international trade and global value chains through open markets; conducive regulatory frameworks; trade facilitation and trade finance; and by strengthening their access to services and networks, including with foreign partners and multinationals.
8. Business dynamics, start-ups and innovative entrepreneurship
Enable entrepreneurship by reducing barriers to entry, exit, business transfer and business succession, and by easing possibilities to re-start for entrepreneurs who fail; and ensure that policies and the regulatory environment support competition and provide incentives and support for innovative entrepreneurs to scale up.
9. Fostering inclusive entrepreneurship
Encourage and support under-represented or disadvantaged groups to participate in entrepreneurship, by taking into account structural barriers, specific challenges and needs through appropriate targeted measures, where necessary; equal access to wider entrepreneurship support programmes, and by raising awareness about and deconstructing stereotypes hampering equal access to entrepreneurship.
10. Transitions related to informal enterprises and self-employment
Facilitate the transition from informal to formal entrepreneurship, easing access to resources where needed; and ensure a level playing field for the self-employed and far all kinds of entrepreneurship, including in the platform economy.
11. Enhancing responsible business conduct and social impact
Promote responsible business conduct and the engagement of SMEs and entrepreneurs in avoiding and addressing adverse environmental and social impacts and improving social outcomes associated with their activities and business relations along value chains and within their local communities.
Provide adequate incentives for SMEs and entrepreneurs to innovate and foster their capacity to benefit from innovation diffusion, through conducive market conditions; robust and inclusive innovation ecosystems, local networks and infrastructure; and appropriate targeted measures, where necessary.
Enhance SMEs and entrepreneurs’ access to a diverse range of financing instruments, sources and channels that are adapted to their needs in terms of development, growth and sustainability, by implementing evidence-based policies and regulatory approaches conducive to transparent and resilient SME finance markets; leveraging the role of new technologies; encouraging timely payments; and strengthening SME financial skills and vision.
14. Skills and entrepreneurial mindset
Encourage the development of an entrepreneurial mindset throughout society, and create adequate incentives for SMEs and entrepreneurs to invest in skills; in particular promote the development of and access to skills that are transversal across jobs and contexts, such as management, problem-solving and digital skills.
15. Ecosystems, networks and public procurement
Strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems at national, regional and local level, including by developing networks and linkages along supply chains, between SMEs and with large firms, within and across sectors; and by enhancing SME access to and participation in public procurement.
To display the text of each principles, hover your mouse over the principle title.
The SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy is developed by the OECD Committee on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, in which OECD countries as well as various non-OECD countries and stakeholders are represented.
Discussions on aspects of the SME and Entrepreneurship Strategy regularly take place via webinars and other events. Register for the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Cities and Regions newsletter to stay informed on activities.
|>> No net zero without SMEs: Exploring the key issues for greening SMEs and green entrepreneurship||>> Understanding SME heterogeneity: Towards policy relevant typologies for SMEs and entrepreneurship|
|>> SME and entrepreneurship policy frameworks across OECD countries||>> An in-depth analysis of one year of SME and entrepreneurship policy responses to COVID-19|
|>> International Compendium of Entrepreneurship Policies||>> The Digital Transformation of SMEs|
|>> OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2021||>> The Missing Entrepreneurs; Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment|
For further information, please contact Lucia Cusmano (Lucia.firstname.lastname@example.org), Deputy Head of Division