SME Competitiveness Outlook 2015

Connect, Compete and Change for Inclusive Growth

image of SME Competitiveness Outlook 2015

This report looks at the missing link to inclusive growth for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are less productive relative to large firms in the developing world than in the developed world. Based on three pillars of competitiveness "connect, compete and change" the SME Competitiveness Grid presented here makes it easy to spot strengths and weaknesses of enterprises. It determines whether these reflect weaknesses at the firm level, within their business environment or in the national environment. This helps countries understand the nature of their SME competitiveness and what is inhibiting them. Using firm-level data, this report finds that many of the biggest gaps between small and large firms are in the "connect" pillar. It is targeted at SME experts, trade and investment institutions, businesses, and governments. It is the first in an annual series.

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The SME competitiveness grid

Defining – or even describing – competitiveness is not straightforward. Different approaches and lines of thought exist. One reason is that the meaning of competitiveness is highly dependent on the context. At the national level, many of the most popular definitions are productivity-based. For instance, WEF defines competitiveness at the country level as ‘the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country’ (WEF, 2013).

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