Published 13 February 2023
This publication issues OECD guidance on how governments can promote reliable SME and entrepreneurship policy evaluation and reviews evaluation findings.
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Evaluation is the foundation of evidence-based policy. Yet there is a dearth of reliable impact evaluation in the area of SME and entrepreneurship policy. This publication issues OECD guidance on how governments can promote reliable SME and entrepreneurship policy evaluation. It emphasises practices including using control groups, setting clear policy objectives and targets and accounting for business survival and non-survival. It shows that reliable evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policy is increasingly accessible given improvements in data and techniques in recent years and illustrates this with examples of 50 reliable evaluations across many SME and entrepreneurship policy areas and 28 OECD countries. Overall, the publication issues a call for more systematic and reliable evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship policies following the guidance offered. The publication also examines the findings of reliable evaluations internationally, including meta evaluations. The evidence is mixed but generally more robust and consistent for policies to improve access to finance than in the provision of training and advisory services. Some policies have positive impacts on key measures whereas others do not. The reasons are explored, including variations in the targeting of policies and in policy delivery approaches.