Growing recognition of the economic contribution of SMEs has given rise to a large number of activities in many international organisations, both governmental and non-governmental. In the framework of the preparation of the 1st OECD Ministerial Conference on SMEs held in Bologna, Italy, in June 2000, a first Compendium was prepared, which collected and classified information on the activities of international bodies and institutions, as well as NGOs, targeted at SMEs. The Compendium provided an overview of work conducted by such organisations on SME issues and policies. Although the mandates of these international organisations differ, it was considered useful to collect and share an increasing volume of information on the work being carried out in what is a multi-faceted subject. By promoting a flow of information, duplication of effort can be reduced and co-ordination and synergy among international organisations/institutions can be improved.
Between the Bologna Ministerial and the 2nd OECD Ministerial Conference on SMEs held in Istanbul, Turkey four years later (3-5 June 2004), there has been a considerable increase in the amount of information available at the international level, reflecting new topics, new challenges, new actors and new policies related to SMEs and entrepreneurship. This situation will likely continue to evolve. Consequently, there is a need for classification and guidance in a situation where no general guide (online or in print) is available. In the context of the follow-up to the Istanbul SME Ministerial Conference and in the framework of the OECD Bologna Process for SME and Entrepreneurship Policies, the OECD is well placed to identify and organise this information. Moreover, the creation of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs & Local Development (CFE) in July 2004 offered a prime opportunity and a new momentum to launch a second, updated version of the Compendium, adapted to the information environment.
This new style Compendium II involves much more than an update of the first Compendium. Its content and structure have been redefined. In particular, the construction of the internal and external links, hyperlinks, should enable any reader to easily navigate to the original source of information and to the organisation concerned with the activity mentioned in the Compendium. Its online presentation, in “HUB” form, will also make it easier to update the Compendium periodically in the future.
The Objectives of the Compendium II are:
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