Access to appropriate sources of finance is key for SMEs to start-up, develop and grow, but long-standing challenges persist . Governments around the world are stepping up efforts to foster a diversified financial offer for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Across all stages of their life cycle, SMEs require access to appropriate sources of financing for their creation, survival and growth. Although SME access to bank finance largely recovered after the financial crisis, long-stading challenges remain such as information asymmetries, high transaction costs, and lack of financial skills and knowledge among small business owners. In addition, the potential of financing instruments other than straight debt often remains underdeveloped. Micro-enterprises, innovative ventures, start-ups and young firms tend to face more difficulties in accessing finance.
The OECD documents trends in the access to finance by SMEs and entrepreneurs and monitors government policies to enhance SME and entrepreneurship financing. The OECD encourages learning and knowledge sharing in this area and can help governments identify effective policy practices to strengthen access to credit and broaden the range of financing instruments for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Financing SMEs: an OECD Scoreboard
The annual Financing SMEs Entrepreneurs Scoreboard provides the evidence base to help governments get their SME finance policies right.
Updated in 2022, the G20/OECD High Level Principles on SME Financing offers broad guidelines for the development of cross-cutting policy strategies, policy assessment and benchmarking.
OECD Platform on Financing SMEs for Sustainability
The OECD Platform on Financing SMEs for Sustainability supports SMEs in the green transition.
Recommendation of the Council on SME Financing
The OECD Recommendation on SME financing was adopted by the OECD Council meeting at Ministerial level on 8 June 2023 on the proposal of the Committee on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (CSMEE). The Recommendation aims to support Adherents in their efforts to enhance SME access to a diverse range of financing instruments. It supports the development of coherent national SME financing strategies by helping define specific policy objectives, design and implement coherent policy measures, strengthen the evidence base and provide a framework for monitoring and evaluation.
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