Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the potential to scale up have drawn considerable policy attention due to their ability to create jobs, spur innovation, increase competitiveness, and promote economic growth. However, little is known about which firms can effectively become scalers, and which policies can effectively promote SME growth. This report is part of a series aimed at helping policy makers unlock the potential of scalable SMEs. Based on new evidence from microdata research, the report proposes a broader and more comprehensive approach to scale-up policies. The report then explores two critical areas relevant to SME scaling up, namely SME data governance and their access to scale-up finance.
An international mapping of 369 institutions and 1174 policy initiatives across OECD countries was conducted to analyze the current state of SME and entrepreneurship policy implementation. The analysis revealed that SME and entrepreneurship policy is not a core mandate of many implementing institutions, highlighting the need for effective coordination and further integration of SME growth considerations into both policy areas. Furthermore, national policy mixes differ significantly across countries, indicating varied approaches to promoting SME growth and targeting, but also identifying potential policy gaps.
To address these issues, the report recommends the establishment of a comprehensive measurement framework for SME scale-up potential and performance. It suggests a focus on indicators beyond traditional measures of SME growth, such as innovation and internationalization, and the inclusion of SME data governance and access to scale-up finance as key policy areas. Additionally, the report proposes the development of national action plans to improve the implementation of SME and entrepreneurship policies and the creation of a dedicated platform to share best practices and lessons learned.
In conclusion, this report sheds light on the significant potential of scalable SMEs for economic growth and job creation, while highlighting the need for a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to SME and entrepreneurship policy. By rethinking the nature and scope of scale-up policies and improving SME data governance and access to finance, policy makers can better unlock the potential of scalable SMEs and promote sustainable economic growth.