SMEs and entrepreneurship

Fostering Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) Participation in Global Markets


A Survey of SME Perceptions of Barriers to Access to High-Growth Markets
for the OECD project on
“Fostering Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) Participation in Global Markets”


Aims of the project

The aim of the study is to gain a better understanding of the barriers to internationalisation (defined as those constraints that hinder the firm’s ability to initiate, to develop, or to sustain business operations in overseas markets) faced by SMEs in high-growth markets and to share knowledge about government interventions to reduce those barriers.

The intended outcome of this study is to help governments take effective action to mitigate those barriers.

Please complete the questionnaire below online by clicking on the following link.


Please refer to the glossary for assistance with any unfamiliar terminology.

It is extremely important to obtain as many responses as possible to achieve the aims of this survey, and therefore, we would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to fill out the questionnaire.


Survey results

The report of this survey, including findings and recommendations, will be finalised at the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE) in October 2012. The report will be sent to your organisation if you so request.


Background information regarding the questionnaire


The OECD is currently conducting a project on the challenges and opportunities SMEs face in accessing to international markets with high-growth potential.

The rapidly increasing role of emerging economies in international trade, value creation and global growth present new opportunities for SMEs in global markets. However, there is little evidence on specific barriers which may exist and which policies can enable SMEs and entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities presented by these global market dynamics. To address this need, the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE) is undertaking a study, which will:

  • Highlight the trends of SMEs’  internationalisation in growth markets;
  • Explore the drivers of competitiveness and determinants of growth for SMEs in these markets;
  • Identify and suggest ways to overcome the barriers to SMEs’ participation in global markets;
  • Identify innovative practices and policies, and offer policy recommendations, that support and encourage SMEs’ entry and competitiveness in global markets;




The study will be implemented through surveys and data analysis. The surveys will be comprised of:

  • Survey of policy makers (to be answered by governments/policy makers)


This first survey will ask policy makers to list the details of government programmes designed to enable SMEs to overcome barriers to internationalising, especially in high-growth markets.


  • A Survey of SME Perceptions of Barriers to Access to High-Growth Markets (to be answered by SMEs, this survey)


This second survey, A Survey of SME Perceptions of Barriers to Access High-Growth Markets, is designed to obtain from SMEs’ perceptions of the most significant barriers to internationalisation and exporting. It lists a number of known barriers and invites SMEs to indicate the barriers they face in exporting/internationalising in high-growth markets.


In addition, it is designed to uncover the perceptions of SMEs about whether those central government programmes their country currently has in place to enable SMEs to overcome the barriers to internationalisation in high-growth markets are working effectively and which ones have proven to be the most useful.



For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email (


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