Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that achieve scaling up have long been of policy interest due to their potential for job creation, innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth.
However, little is known about which firms can effectively scale up and which policies can effectively promote SME growth. This report is part of a series aimed at helping policymakers unleash the potential of scalers. Building on new evidence from microdata analysis, it rethinks the nature and scope of scale-up policies, suggesting the need for a broader and more cross-cutting approach.
The report explores two thematic areas relevant to SME scaling up: SME data governance and their access to “scale-up” finance. Based on an international mapping of 369 institutions and 1174 policy initiatives across OECD countries, the analysis shows that SME and entrepreneurship policy is not among the core mandates of many implementing institutions. This calls for sound coordination across the board and further mainstreaming of SME growth considerations in both policy areas.
Moreover, the analysis reveals significant variations in national policy mixes across countries, reflecting different approaches to promoting SME growth and targeting. The findings highlight possible policy blind spots and underscore the need for a more holistic and coherent policy framework that takes into account the heterogeneity of SMEs, the diversity of growth paths, and the evolving technological and environmental context.
Overall, the report provides a comprehensive and data-driven analysis of SME scaling up and policy implications, and offers insights into the challenges and opportunities facing SMEs in the current economic landscape. It provides a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, and practitioners seeking to understand the dynamics of SME growth and to design effective policies to support it.