Stakeholders, business people and government representatives at the conference agreed that access to funding was one of the biggest obstacles to the creation, growth and development of small businesses. Policymakers need to make sure that SME specific needs are properly understood and should work to remove red tape, and reform regulations and taxes that hamper access to financing.
The action statement highlights two issues: debt and credit financing, particularly the need for competition among lending institutions, measures to promote better risk-sharing between lenders and SMEs, and government guarantee schemes; and risk capital, where there is a need to enhance awareness, and to educate and widely communicate the value of equity financing. But there is also a need to remove obstacles to venture capital and to promote “business angel networks”.
For more information see www.oecd.org/cfe/sme.
©OECD Observer No 255, May 2006