Strengthening SMEs and entrepreneurship for productivity and inclusive growth

This Ministerial meeting will discuss how to strengthen SMEs and entrepreneurship for productivity and inclusive growth. It will be organised around the three main themes below.

1. Enabling SMEs to scale up

Plenary session 1

SMEs that grow have a considerable impact on competition, innovation, employment and wages. SMEs can experience sustained growth at different stages of their life cycle and across many sectors.

Governments increasingly recognise that creating a pro-growth environment for start-ups and SMEs requires coherent and mutually reinforcing policies across different domains, including conducive institutional and regulatory frameworks, enhanced access to markets and strategic resources, such as finance, skills, knowledge and technology.

Issues for discussion

  • What can governments do to develop a business environment that is conducive to SME growth and enable SMEs to harness digital technologies for scaling up?
  • What are the opportunities and barriers to the scaling up of start-ups and SMEs?

2. Enhancing SME access to diversified financing instruments

Plenary session 2

Across all stages of their life cycle, SMEs require access to appropriate sources of financing for their creation, survival and growth. However, access to finance represents a long-standing hurdle to SME growth.

A range of government policies to foster SME access to finance have been introduced since the financial crisis, in line with the G20/OECD High-level Principles on SME Financing, which advocate a two-pronged approach that strengthens SME access to credit, while also supporting the diversification of financing instruments and channels.  

Issues for discussion

  • What role can governments play in easing SME access to appropriate sources of external finance?
  • How can policy enable harnessing digital tools to strengthen SME access to finance?

3. Fostering greater SME participation in a globally integrated economy

Plenary Session 3

Enhancing the participation by SMEs in global markets creates opportunities to scale-up, innovate, broaden and deepen the skill-set and enhance productivity. Changes in the global environment offer new opportunities for SMEs to participate in global markets.

However, these trends amplify the importance of goods and services trade policies and of international cooperation to address global challenges, including regulatory issues in the digital age. They also call for domestic whole-of-government approaches to lift longstanding and new barriers that SMEs face.

Issues for discussion

  • What are the most pressing challenges that SMEs face today to seize opportunities from a globally integrated economy?
  • What are the most effective policy levers to enhance participation by SMEs in global markets?

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