The role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in OECD economies continues to be crucial for strengthening economic performance, particularly in the light of the recent slowdown in economic growth. SMEs represent over 95% of enterprises in most OECD countries, and generate over half of private sector employment. Today, most governments apply an array of policies and programmes to promote entrepreneurship and boost development of SMEs. These programmes generally aim to alleviate the difficulties SMEs experience in areas such as financing, technology and innovation, e-commerce, management and internationalisation, and seek to identify and implement best practice policies.
The OECD Small and Medium Enterprise Outlook 2002, the second in a biennial series, aims to broaden and deepen analysis of SME policies and highlight common lessons that can be drawn from member country experiences. The report provides an overview of trends in SME performance and policies in the OECD area and policy profiles for 28 member countries and the Commission of the European Union. It also synthesises thematic work undertaken on a range of topics by the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship and within the OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry:
For the first time, a special chapter is included on a transition economy: Romania, for this edition.
The most recent SME data and key indicators for SMEs are included in a statistical annex.
An overview of the SME Outlook 2002 is available here for free download in pdf format in Italian .