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Policies for seed and early stage finance

This paper highlights the findings from a research project to investigate the role of public support to promote seed and early stage financing, including an OECD questionnaire sent to the 34 OECD member countries in 2012.

By: and Date: February 4, 2014 Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

This paper highlights the findings from a research project to investigate the role of public support to promote seed and early stage financing, including an OECD questionnaire sent to the 34 OECD member countries in 2012. The questionnaire focused on seed and early stage financing, looking at the supply side, regulatory challenges and demand side actions.

The questionnaire was answered by 32 OECD countries as well by about 100 experts in those countries. The list of current financing instrument identified, along with links to the further information about them, can be found in Annex I of this paper. The results of the questionnaire were supplemented by further research conducted by the OECD Secretariat as well as by the discussions from a series of financing policy workshops hosted by member countries.

The report highlights the growth in support for financial instruments for seed and early stage firms across OECD member countries. These instruments include grants, loans and guarantee schemes, tax incentives and equity funds. This increased support is linked to the recent financial crisis and the growing concern about the young firms’ access to finance. The paper notes that framework conditions play an important role in access to finance and must be taken into consideration as a significant part of the policy mix. Demand side policies to develop entrepreneurial and investment talent and networks are also critical. The paper discusses the role of evaluation and the need to better link policy objectives and outcomes.


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