Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2018: An OECD scoreboard


This sixth edition monitors SMEs' and entrepreneurs' access to finance over the period 2007-2016. Based on data collected for the country profiles and information from demand-side surveys, this report includes indicators on debt, equity and asset-based finance, as well as on financing framework conditions, complemented by information on recent public and private initiatives to support SME access to finance.

The report detailed profiles for 43 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The key facts on SME financing in Belgium are:

In 2015, SMEs dominated the business enterprise landscape in Belgium, comprising 99.9% of all firms.

The outstanding stock of SME loans expanded moderately by 1.7% in 2016, 2 percentage points down from its growth rate in the previous year.

SME interest rates continued their downward path, and stood at 1.7% in 2016. The interest rate spread between loans charged to large enterprises and to SMEs amount to 25 basis points in 2016.

Survey data illustrates that lending conditions eased between 2013 and the end of 2015 and have been relatively stable since.

Leasing volumes increased in 2016 by more than a quarter of their 2015 volumes, which is the highest growth rate posted in the period. In contrast, factoring volumes posted the lowest growth rate of the period at 2.7%.

Factoring continues to be overall more widely used by Belgian SMEs. After a strong period of expansion, with rates of more than 10% every year between 2012 and 2015, factoring grew at a slower pace in 2016. While factoring volumes accounted for 6.3% of GDP in 2008, this percentage increased to almost 15% in 2016.

Venture capital investments continue to show considerable variation due to the small number of deals conducted every year. Total venture capital investments increased by more than 60.0% in 2016 after a contraction of 10.8% in 2015.

Both payment delays and bankruptcy rates were down in 2016 compared to 2015 and were the lowest figures since 2008.