New OECD report shows loans to SMEs hit new heights during the pandemic
The report, focusing on financing of SMEs, shows that outstanding SME loans increased significantly during the first year of the pandemic. The median stock of SME loans increased by 4.9%, the highest upturn registered since the OECD Scoreboard was created 10 years ago. This was underpinned by a strong increase in government-provided loan guarantees (up 110% y-o-y in 2020), debt moratoria, as well as direct lending to SMEs (up by 17% y-o-y in 2020). Read more
DIGITAL SME launches Funding Opportunities Portal – a new service for SMEs
Many different European funding opportunities for SMEs exist, but the good ones are often hidden in a jungle of too much information, as pointed out by the European Digital SME Alliance. To help interested parties navigate through this jungle, European Digital SME Alliance has launched a new one-stop-shop tool in which it filters out the best funding calls suitable for SMEs. This will also be useful for accountants advising SME clients on accessing finance. Read more
ECA finds room for improvement in supporting SMEs’ internationalisation
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has published a report assessing the key European instruments aimed at supporting SMEs go global, such as the Enterprise Europe Network and Startup Europe. ECA’s audit of these instruments found that the EU’s strategy correctly identified the main obstacles to SME internationalisation and numerous actions have been set up to support SMEs’ internationalisation. However, important actions have also not been successfully implemented. In particular, there is no up-to-date inventory of all relevant actions in this field which would allow to identify gaps, overlaps and potential synergies among existing actions, the report finds. Read more
G7 finance ministers call for proportionate sustainability standards for SMEs
G7 finance ministers issued the usual Communique at the end of their meeting, which took place on 20 May. In it, the finance ministers call for a ‘baseline’ for international sustainability standards. This baseline should be “practical, flexible and proportionate and ultimately suitable for small and medium-size enterprises”. This is a strong and explicit political call for standards that consider SMEs’ needs. Read more
EFRAG calls for experts to support its SME sustainability standard-setting
In its meeting of 13 April 2022, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) Sustainability Reporting Board (SRB) appointed 22 members of the EFRAG Sustainability Reporting Technical Expert Group (SR TEG). This composition includes a wide range of expertise and specialisations in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) domain.
To have well-balanced expertise, experience and knowledge, EFRAG has decided to have two additional seats to enhance the social (with deep technical expertise on international standards) and direct practical SME sustainability-reporting expertise in EFRAG SR TEG.
Submissions – setting out the name, CV and motivation letter – should be sent by 20 June 2022 via email to EFRAG, to the attention of Jean-Paul Gauzès, EFRAG Administrative Board President. Email address: [email protected]. Early applications are encouraged. Read more