Small and Medium Enterprises

15 January 2011
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In the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, there has been an increased interest in the role of small and medium enterprises in job creation and economic growth. However the lack of consistent indicators at the country level restricts extensive crosscountry analyses of lending to small and medium enterprises. This paper introduces a new dataset to fill this gap in the small and medium enterprise data landscape. In addition, it provides the first set of results of analyses with this new dataset, predicting the global small and medium enterprise lending volume to be $10 trillion. The bulk of this volume, 70 percent, is in high-income countries. On average, small and medium enterprise loans constitute 13 percent of gross domestic product in developed countries and 3 percent in developing countries. Note that although a unique small and medium enterprise definition does not exist, differences in definitions across countries are not statistically significant in explaining the differences in small and medium enterprise lending volumes.