OECD recommends more supports for SMEs
SMEs should be encouraged to improve their digital skills, as well as their knowledge around finance and international standards, according to the OECD
SMEs should be given access to more training and greater government supports in order to encourage growth and international expansion, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Commissioned by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys last year, the report makes a number of recommendations for the Government's SME and enterpreneurship strategy, due to be published by the end of the year.
That includes better collaboration between government departments, as well as an enhanced role for the country's Local Enterprise Offices.
The OECD says SMEs should be encouraged to adopt best practice in areas like digital and automation, while also making better use of financial markets and international standards.
It says the new SME strategy should be overseen by an inter-departmental committee, which should target 50% growth in the number of small and medium-sized firms that are exporting.
The Small Firms Association has welcomed the report, and the Government's pledge to publish its SME strategy by the end of 2019.
"It is gratifying that the Government has listened to what the SFA and OECD have been saying about the need to improve SME and entrepreneurship policies and programmes in order to boost the number and performance of small businesses," said the director of the SFA, Sven Spollen-Behrens.
Chambers Ireland also welcomed the report, describing the roadmap it sets out as "an ambitious step in building a comprehensive strategy for our SMEs to develop and prosper in the long term".