Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2019: An OECD scoreboard


This eighth edition provides information about SMEs and entrepreneurs' access to finance over the period 2007-2017. 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 presents data for 46 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, 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, accounting for 99.9% of all firms.

The outstanding stock of SME loans expanded 5.6% in 2017, 3.9 percentage points up from its growth rate the previous year.

SME interest rates continued to decrease, and were 1.7% in 2017. The interest rate spread between loans charged to large enterprises and loans charged to SMEs was 26 basis points in 2017.

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

After having experienced strong growth in 2016 (25%), leasing volumes receded moderately in 2017 (-3.49%). Overall, factoring continues to be more widely used by Belgian companies. Factoring expanded strongly in 2017, growing 10.81% during the year and achieving rates of more than 10% every year between 2012 and 2017 (with the exception of 2016, where the factoring growth rate was 2.74%). Factoring contributed to almost 16% of GDP in 2017, as opposed to only 6.3% of GDP in 2008.

Venture capital investments continue to show considerable variation due to the small number of deals conducted every year. Total venture capital investments decreased 38.8% in 2017, after having increased 60% in 2016.

Average payment delays for business to business transactions have been decreasing for the entire reference period. Payment delays decreased from a 17-day average in 2009 to an 8-day average in 2017.

After a steady decrease of bankruptcies during the 2014-16 period, the number of registered failures rose to 9 968 (+8.7%) in 2017.