In June 2014, I co-hosted the G20 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Conference with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A key recommendation from that conference was that Australia should seek to improve its SME data collation to enable our participation in international benchmarking studies and research. We are now in a position to achieve that.
Australia is joining the OECD Scoreboard on SMEs and Entrepreneurship Financing.
Joining the scoreboard will improve access to data which shows where SMEs sit in the Australian financial system and how we are progressing in relation to other countries.
The OECD Scoreboard monitors trends in SME and entrepreneurship financing in 34 countries — additional countries are joining every year. It also monitors government policy responses to deal with these challenges.
In Australia, 97 per cent of all businesses are small businesses. These businesses are the engine room of our economy and critical to ensuring growth, innovation and job creation.
However, many small businesses face significant obstacles to fulfilling their potential. This is especially true when it comes to facing the challenges and taking advantage of opportunities globalisation and economic transformation bring. It is important for us to be able to clearly understand these challenges in order to address them.
Our participation in the OECD Scoreboard will improve the accessibility small business data. Each year, a range of key indicators will now be publicly available together in the one publication.
The Scoreboard is released annually. More information can be found on the OECD website.