23rd February 2022

OECD guiding policies for SMEs – survey

The OECD Committee on SMEs and Entrepreneurship is developing principles for effective, efficient and coherent SME and entrepreneurship policies.

You can join the public consultation to make policy work better for entrepreneurs and SMEs by filling in this survey before 11 March 2022.–SMEs.pdf



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:

  • Cross-cutting principles reflect how an SME and entrepreneurship perspective should be taken into account throughout policy making from early in policy design to implementation and evaluation;
  • Principles related to transitions and resilience reflect ongoing trends and changes in the SME and entrepreneurship policy domain and wider economic environment that SME and entrepreneurship policies increasingly need to deal with, such as digitalisation and climate change;
  • Principles related to the access to resources such as skills, finance and innovation, that are essential for SME performance.


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