Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
Framework for the Evaluation of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies and Programmes 2023
Evaluation is the foundation of evidence-based policy. Yet there is a dearth of reliable
impact evaluation in the area of SME and entrepreneurship policy. This publication
issues OECD guidance on how governments can promote reliable SME and entrepreneurship
policy evaluation. It emphasises practices including using control groups, setting
clear policy objectives and targets and accounting for business survival and non-survival.
It shows that reliable evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policy is increasingly
accessible given improvements in data and techniques in recent years and illustrates
this with examples of 50 reliable evaluations across many SME and entrepreneurship
policy areas and 28 OECD countries. Overall, the publication issues a call for more
systematic and reliable evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policies following
the guidance offered.
The publication also examines the findings of reliable evaluations internationally,
including meta evaluations. The evidence is mixed but generally more robust and consistent
for policies to improve access to finance than in the provision of training and advisory
services. Some policies have positive impacts on key measures whereas others do not.
The reasons are explored, including variations in the targeting of policies and in
policy delivery approaches.