Evaluating the Impacts of SME and entrepreneurship policies



Is SME and entrepreneurship policy having its intended effects? Do the benefits of specific programmes justify their costs? Could these benefits be achieved more cost-effectively through alternative approaches? Evaluation provides the key to answering these questions, by determining the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of a policy or programme in relation to its objectives.


This is particularly important in the field of SME and entrepreneurship policy because questions can legitimately be put as to whether current SME and entrepreneurship policies are fit for purpose, or whether changes are needed in its scope and focus.  For example, does the policy mix need to be adjusted or do the enterprises and entrepreneurs targeted need to be modified?


However, reliable impact evaluation is rare in the field of SME and entrepreneurship policy, and less common than in fields such as labour market policy. This remains the case, despite recent improvements in available data and methods for evaluation. One of the reasons is a lack of widespread knowledge among policy makers about how reliable impact evaluation should be taken. 


The just-published OECD Framework for the Evaluation of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies seeks to address these issues by making two major contributions. First, it sets out how to achieve reliable impact evaluation in SME and entrepreneurship policy, including offering a six-step scale to judge the reliability of any evaluation or evaluation method. Second, it provides a summary of what is known about policy impacts from international meta-evaluations and a selection of reliable individual evaluations in the field, spanning a wide range of policy areas and OECD countries. 


This event will launch the OECD’s new Framework for the Evaluation of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies and Programmes, including its messages for evaluation methodologies and learning from the findings of previous evaluations. It offers the opportunity to get involved in debate and discussion with a range of constituents from the OECD and ICSB communities on this important topic. The issues that will be covered include:

  • What are the features of reliable impact evaluation?
  • What is the evidence from past evaluations?
  • What are the lessons for future policy design and evaluation practice?

ABOUT Our Partners

The OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities provides comparative statistics, analysis and capacity building for local and national actors to work together to unleash the potential of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises, promote inclusive and sustainable regions and cities, boost local job creation, and support sound tourism policies. 

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