Size Matters: Pro SME Policies and Competitiveness

December 1, 2008

SMEs account for the majority of economic units in Mexico and are the main source of employment for Mexicans. Therefore, the competitiveness of Mexico’s SMEs matters greatly to the health of Mexico's economy. This study analyzes national promotion programs and attention to SMEs in Chile, Spain, Taiwan, and the United States along with state programs in Mexican states including Baja California, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Puebla, and San Luis Potosi.

The research responds to the concerns of identifying government practices to improve performance and competitiveness of SMEs in Mexico. It was carried out with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2008. In that year, SMEs generated more than half of Mexico’s GDP. Then, and to date, the picture pointed to SMEs as a lever of competitiveness for Mexico.

Some of the findings summarized in this publication relate to the lack of training, funding, innovation, and certifications that characterized many Mexican SMEs. In addition, strong evidence suggests that the most competitive countries in the world offer effective support programs to SMEs. Thus it was shown that the competitiveness of countries is related to the competitiveness of their SMEs.