This report examines the approaches adopted in 23 OECD and EU countries for evaluating the performance and cost-effectiveness of publicly supported credit guarantee programmes for SMEs. It finds that some evaluations are conducted using rigorous state-of-the art policy evaluation approaches which include an appropriate measurement of the counterfactual. Such approaches, however, are rare. Not all countries evaluate the performance of their programmes and, when they do, they often focus only on financial and not economic additionality. The issue of financial sustainability is typically neglected. Data availability remains a key impediment to the conduct of rigorous evaluations.
The report has benefited from comments by the OECD Committee on Financial Markets (CMF) and from the Steering Group of the Working Party on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurship. Jean Boissinot, Sahidur Rahman, Marco Petracco Giudici, Silvia Vori, and Matthew Wicks also provided comments.