Enterprise Performance and SME Policies


Building on the findings of the SMEPI Policy Index, this study analyses the relationship between policy settings and SME performance in the areas of access to finance, innovation and internationalisation. The work covers all six countries of the OECD Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Initiative

The analysis indicates that SMEs in the Eastern partner region underperform compared to their peers in other regions. It also highlights the interlinked nature of access to finance, innovation and internationalisation, and suggests that improvements in the policy environment do play a role in shaping firm performance: 

  • Restricted access to finance is not only an obstacle to doing business in itself, but it can hinder firm performance by creating barriers to innovation and internationalisation. 
  • Innovation and internationalisation are mutually reinforcing activities; firms entering new markets are more likely to engage in innovation and vice versa. 
  • SMEs with access to finance are more likely to export, and exporting SMEs are more likely to invest in R&D.

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The project was carried out by the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme with the financial support of the European Union’s EU4Business initiative. It was co-ordinated with the work programme of the Eastern Partnership Business Development Panel under Platform 2 on Economic integration and convergence with EU policies.

Progress towards SME-supportive policies in Eastern partner countries 2012 and 2016

Progress towards SME-supportive policies in Eastern partner countries 2012 and 2016

Source: OECD et al. (2015), SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2016: Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europte, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Contact us

For more information about the project please contact:
Daniel Quadbeck, Project Manager 

Follow us on: @OECDeurasia 

 EU Funded under the EU4Business Initiative of the European Union
The EU4Business Initiative covers all EU support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region of the Eastern Partnership which brings together the EU, its member states and six partner ccountries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

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