Publication Date: June 2009
Access to financing continues to be one of the most significant challenges for the creation, survival and growth of SMEs, especially innovative ones. The problem is strongly exacerbated by the financial and economic crisis as SMEs and entrepreneurs have suffered a double shock: a drastic drop in demand for goods and services and a tightening in credit terms, which are severely affecting their cash flows. Governments are responding generally by three types of measures aimed at:
i) Supporting sales and preventing depletion of SMEs’ working capital.
ii) Enhancing SME’s access to liquidity.
iii) Helping SMEs to maintain their investment level.
The present report brings to the attention of governments recommendations to tackle the long-standing deficiencies in the SME financial environment, as well as to prepare SMEs and entrepreneurs for a phase of innovation-led growth.
In October 2008, the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE) started a debate on the impact of the global crisis on SMEs and entrepreneurs’ access to finance and on government responses in this area. A survey among member and non-member countries was subsequently conducted in early 2009 to gather information on the situation and on the measures adopted or to be adopted by governments, in order to contribute to the OECD Strategic Response to the Financial and Economic Crisis launched by the Secretary General. Twenty-nine countries, the European Commission and the European Investment Fund responded to the questionnaire.
This report presents the findings of the survey and the outcome of the discussion at the (26-27 March 2009, Turin, Italy).
Published by the Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE).
II. Impact of the Crisis on SMEs and Entrepreneurship Financing
a. SMEs under stress – the indicators
b. SMEs’ reactions
c. SMEs’ demand for bank credit
d. Tightened credit conditions
e. Supply of equity, venture capital and alternative sources of financing
III. Policy Responses of Governments
a. Existing measures
b. Proposals for further action
IV. Preparing SMEs and entrepreneurs for recovery and innovation-led growth
V. Proposed role for the OECD
Full version (free): The Impact of the Global Crisis on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing and Policy Responses (pdf).