webinar: Strengthening SME and Entrepreneurship Policies post COVID-19

20 maggio 2021

16:00 – 17:30



SMEs have been at the epicenter of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SMEs account for the vast majority of employment in the sectors most severely affected, such as tourism, professional services and transport manufacturing, and had less means to adjust to the impact of the crisis, for instance through digitalization. Governments have swiftly responded to the looming liquidity crisis among SMEs and entrepreneurs since the start of the pandemic, and are currently developing policies to pave the way for recovery.
Since the outset of the Covid-19 crisis, the OECD has surveyed government response to support SMEs and entrepreneurs worldwide, which has resulted in the timely paper “One year of SME and entrepreneurship policy responses to COVID-19: Lessons learned to “build back better”.
INSME and the OECD join forces in a webinar that looks forward to what the pandemic and policy response thereto means for making SME and entrepreneurship policies more effective, efficient and sustainable.
The webinar takes place after the decision of the OECD Council on 20 April 2021 to elevate the Working Party on SME and Entrepreneurship to Committee level; a clear recognition of the relevance of SME and Entrepreneurship in the international policy debate and of the need to listen more and better to the voice of new and small entrepreneurs.


At a time countries develop ambitious recovery plans, the webinar aims to discuss the challenges ahead to make the rebound of SMEs more rapid and effective, and the way that SME and entrepreneurship policies should evolve to deal with the transformative impact of the pandemic, which has accelerated earlier trends but also brought to the fore the urgency of more resilient and sustainable business models.
The webinar will address the following questions:

  • What are the main short and medium-term challenges for SME recovery and resilience that recovery packages need to address? How could lessons from the COVID-19 crisis responses help shape these packages?
  • How are SME considerations being mainstreamed in recovery packages and their key pillars (e.g. sustainability, digitalization)?
  • How can the OECD and INSME support countries in developing recovery packages that are in line with the needs of SMEs and entrepreneurs?


16:00 - 16:05
Welcome and introduction by the Chair
Martin Godel, Chair of the OECD Committee on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (CSMEE) and INSME Member, Head of Division of the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs, Switzerland
16:05 - 16:10 Opening remarksLamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE)
16:10 - 16.25 Main Findings of the OECD report “One year of SME and entrepreneurship policy responses to COVID-19: Lessons learned to “build back better”Lucia Cusmano and Stephan Raes, Entrepreneurship, SME and Tourism Division, CFE, OECD
16:25 -16:30 First comments Professor Jay Mitra, Chair INSME Research and Learning Forum London

16:30 -  17.15 Round table 

Daniel J. Pische
, National Director of Trade  Finance, Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration
Rym Ayadi, President, Euro – Mediterranean Economists  Association (EMEA), Barcelona
Maria Muñoz Martinez, Deputy Director for SME  Support, Directorate-General for Industry and SME, Ministry of Industry,  Trade and Tourism, Spain
Patrick Meinhardt, INSME Board Member, Berlin
Juan Pablo Garcia, Deputy Director for  Science, Technology, and Innovation National Planning Department, Colombia
Iliya Lingorski, Chief Economist, Bulgarian  Development Bank, Sofia

17:15 -  17:25 Questions  and answers

17:25 -  17:30 Concluding  remarks Sergio  Arzeni,  President, INSME