Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Reviews on entrepreneurship, SMEs and local development


Which local policies stimulate new firm creation and the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in given regional contexts?  How should these policies be implemented?  What can be learned from regions in other countries?  OECD reviews of entrepreneurship, SMEs and local development examine the barriers and opportunities for entrepreneurship and SME growth in selected case study regions and make recommendations on how policies can be strengthened. 


About the reviews

The OECD reviews provide a global assessment of policy issues affecting SME and entrepreneurship performance in each region. They include assessment of how policy can strengthen local infrastructure for knowledge transfer to new and small firms; how firms, individuals, institutions and policies can adapt to change; how regulations, cultures and incentives can adapt to the needs of entrepreneurship and SME innovation; how the learning capabilities of firms can be enhanced; and how local and external networks can be strengthened.

The reviews identify for each participant region:

  • The barriers to new and small firm growth and survival;
  • The strengths and weaknesses of existing policies as responses to the challenges, and;
  • International learning model programmes which illustrate how regions in other countries are addressing similar challenges. 


The review process

Each case study involves:

  • Diagnostic work to identify key facts on the local economy, including an analysis of entrepreneurship performance and description of economic development policies; 
  • An online survey of local firms, focusing on their performance, skills levels, and attitudes towards business innovation; 
  • A one-week study visit by an international review panel to discuss policy challenges and options with the key local economic stakeholders; 
  • Preparation of an assessment and recommendations report, and; 
  • A seminar to discuss and disseminate findings and start a locally-owned process of building an entrepreneurship and SME action plan.

The OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme is recruiting new partners (such as local and regional governments, development agencies, etc.) to participate in these reviews.


Previous reviews

Reviews on entrepreneurship, SMEs and local development have been conducted of Trentino (Italy), Sinaloa (Mexico), West Midlands (UK), Cantabria (Spain), Agder (Norway) and East Germany. Local components of national SME and entrepreneurship reviews have also been completed in Poland and Croatia. In-progress reviews include Marche (Italy) and Andalusia (Spain).


For further information

To find out more on how to join the review project, please contact: 

Jonathan Potter, Senior Economist, OECD LEED Programme, Tel.: +33 1 45 24 89 77
Marco Marchese, Economist, OECD LEED Programme, Tel.: +33 1 45 24 78 56


Related Documents