OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2021

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs have been hit hard during the COVID-19 crisis. Policy responses were quick and unprecedented, helping cushion the blow and maintain most SMEs and entrepreneurs afloat. Despite the magnitude of the shock, available data so far point to sustained start-ups creation, no wave of bankruptcies, and an impulse to innovation in most OECD countries. However, government support has been less effective at reaching the self-employed, smaller and younger firms, women, and entrepreneurs from minorities. Countries were not all even in their capacity to support SMEs either. As vaccine campaigns roll out and economic prospects brighten, governments have to take the turn of a crisis exit and create the conditions to build back better. The OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2021 brings new evidence on the impact of the crisis and policy responses on SMEs and entrepreneurs. It reflects on longer-term issues, such as SME indebtedness or SME role in more resilient supply chains or innovation diffusion. The report contains country profiles that benchmark impact, factors of vulnerability, and sources of resilience in OECD countries, and give a policy spotlight on liquidity support and recovery plans for SMEs.

Published on June 28, 2021Also available in: French


Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
SME and entrepreneurship performance in times of COVID-19
SME and entrepreneurship policies for a fair and sustainable recovery4 chapters available
SME indebtedness and future financing for productive investment
Globalisation versus relocalisation: The core role of SMEs in rising place-based industrial policies
COVID-19 crisis: A fast-track path towards more innovation and entrepreneurship?
Country profiles and methodology2 chapters available
Methodology of the country profile
Country Profiles
Powered by OECD iLibrary