On the 13th-15th October 2021, INSME participated digitally to the 1st Session of the OECD Committee on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (CSMEE).
During the special session CSMEE delegates, representatives from international organisations, small and large businesses, delegates from other OECD committees and other knowledge and private sector partners, had the opportunity to engage and discuss analytical work under development in the CSMEE.
The session involved three rounds of discussion. The first round, on SME digitalisation, focused on how the COVID-19 crisis has led to an accelerated adoption of digital tools and models by SMEs to face the emergency (e.g. remote working, e-commerce). Online platforms and other digital tools have helped mitigate the impact of the crisis. However, many pre-COVID barriers to digital adoption remain, including lack of information and awareness, skills gaps, insufficient capital, and lack of complementary assets. During the second round, on SME innovation and growth capacity, the Committee observed that SMEs must increase productivity and scale up innovation capacity if they are to reach their full potential. In fact, ongoing changes in the global trading and investment environment provide increased opportunities to realise this potential. These changes include potential reconfigurations of global value chains (GVCs) after COVID-19, which may create room for innovation ecosystems to transform. At a time when concerns arise about the resilience of supply chains and international competitiveness, the place and role of SMEs in a global post-COVID 19 economy is critical and under question. While SMEs and start-ups that scale up are rare, they contribute significantly to value and job creation. Notwithstanding that, there is scope for all types of SMEs to grow to boost innovation and productivity, as well as speed the transition towards a greener and more sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery.