Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

High-Growth Enterprises: What Governments Can Do to Make a Difference


Table of contentsHow to obtain this publication


Publication Date: Nov 2010
Number of tables: 50
Number of graphs: 36


The spectacular success of several well-known new ventures in technological fields, which in little more than a decade have jumped from the state of start-ups to that of top international businesses, has pointed to innovation as a key factor in the high growth of firms.  These high-growth enterprises often drive job creation and innovation, so policy makers are increasingly making such companies a key focus. Specifically, how can government policy foster the creation of more high-growth enterprises; what are the growth factors, and how can they be leveraged; what are the appropriate ways to provide such support?

To help answer these questions, this report presents findings from two new research studies: (1) reports from 15 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia) that provide interesting insights into the operations of and challenges faced by high-growth enterprises; (2) a policy survey by the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, which reviewed more than 340 programmes that policy makers in 24 countries have put in place to support the growth of enterprises. 

Some of this report’s findings may surprise: any firm can be a high growth company; growth is almost always a temporary phase; high-growth small firms are funded mostly by debt, not equity. These and many more insights are summarised and analysed, providing policy makers with ideas on how to power growth at the firm level.

Table of contents


Part I. Addressing the needs of high-growth enterprises

Chapter 1. What powers high-growth enterprises?
Chapter 2. Factors that drive high enterprise growth: Evidence from the country
Chapter 3. Government policies to support high-growth enterprises


Part II. Country studies on high-growth enterprises

Chapter 4. High-growth SMEs in Latin America's service sector: Six case studies
Chapter 5. High-growth firms in Switzerland: Analysis of 11 firms
Chapter 6. Process innovation: Driver of enterprise growth in the Czech Republic
Chapter 7. Strong customer/supplier relationships: A key to enterprise growth in Japan
Chapter 8. Finland: Intellectual asset management among high-growth SMEs
Chapter 9. Financing growth and innovation in France
Chapter 10. The financing of innovative firms in Canada
Chapter 11. Are innovation firms at a credit disadvantage? The evidence from Italy

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