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Access to finance




According to the Small Business Act (SBA) Fact Sheets, the Dutch SME sector has been stagnating for the past three years. SME employment and value added have yet to climb back to the levels attained before 2010. The trend in the number of SMEs has been even more alarming, with an estimated net loss between 2010 and 2012 of some 120 000 firms. Due to the very small size of the overwhelming majority of those exits, the employment and output effects on the economy have been limited so far. Also, preliminary forecasts for Dutch SMEs point to a very moderate recovery in 2013 and 2014. Nonetheless, the risk factors which caused the stagnation in the first place are still looming large. Stagnating aggregate demand, high levels of private indebtedness in combination with a difficult real estate market and a financial sector dragged down by balance sheet problems and reluctance to lend to SMEs are creating a difficult environment for an SME recovery. The good news is that none of these problems have their roots in failed SME policies. On the contrary, the policy environment for SMEs in the Netherlands is very conducive to small firms. In terms of implementation of the SBA, and SME policies in general, there is not a single policy area where SMEs face particularly restrictive policies in the Netherlands. Think small first and responsive administration are traditional strengths of the Dutch SME policy mix. Also, internationalisation support policies are very effective. A mounting concern for a growing number of SMEs is access to finance, mainly due to the increasingly restrictive lending policies of private banks. While policy action has been taken to alleviate this problem, more efforts are needed to develop alternative channels of finance, such as venture capital, business angels and crowd funding to respond to this problem.

Key indicators on access to finance
SMAF gif - 18 KB [18 KB]

Netherlands ranked 4th out of 27 countries in the 2012 SMAF Index.

For details on SMAF index and methodology please click here.

Download data excel12book - 593 KB [593 KB]

Loans gif - 36 KB [36 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using ECB data

Note: Loan volumes and interest rate data for 2013 are to the period September 2013 only (due to data availability as at November 2013).

Download data excel12book - 69 KB [69 KB]

Guarantees gif - 30 KB [30 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using AECM data

Download data excel12book - 48 KB [48 KB]

Venture capital
Venture capital gif - 35 KB [35 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using EVCA data

Download data excel12book - 69 KB [69 KB]

Business angels finance
Business angels gif - 26 KB [26 KB]

Source: Chart compiled using EBAN data (*comparable data for 2011 were not accessible)

Download data excel12book - 29 KB [29 KB]



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