What MSME Data Sources are Available for Analytical Purposes?

What MSME Data Sources are Available for Analytical Purposes?


The Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The ADB launched the Asia Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Monitor (ASM) in 2014 and the second edition in 2015. The monitor covers 20 developing member countries from five ADB subregions. The 2020 edition upgrades the ASM by extending analytical coverage to both financial and non-financial topics critical to MSME development. Data from the most recent report, including a time-series of exports for selected countries, are available here.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The IMF financial access survey is the key source of global supply-side data on financial inclusion, encompassing data on access to and usage of financial services by firms and households that can be compared across countries over time. Data are available from 2004 and relevant series are marked “…o/w SME.”


The International Trade Centre (ITC)

The ITC’s trade map provides information on imports and exports at the firm level that can be disaggregated by a range of features, including: Company name; city and country; list of traded products; number of employees; annual turnover; contact persons; website address; and phone numbers. Accessibility on company data features can vary according to the subscriptions options. For more information, users can visit https://www.trademap.org/ and/or contact by email at [email protected]. In addition, ITC’s SME Competitiveness Survey (SMECS) collects business data in partnership with countries to assist policymakers in developing strategic approaches, policies and interventions on small business competitiveness.


National Trade Data

National trade data with firm-size characteristics includes the following examples:


  • The main objective of the trade in goods statistics by enterprise characteristics (TEC) is to bridge two major statistical domains which have traditionally been compiled and used separately. These are business statistics and international trade in goods statistics (ITGS). With annual data from 2012 for European countries, the section on trade by partner country and enterprise size class has information on European goods exports and imports by firm size. 
  • Experimental dataset on services trade with enterprise characteristics (STEC). Data are for 2014. 

UK Office for National Statistics

Statistics Canada


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 

  • The Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC) database contains international annual trade in goods data, broken down by different categories of enterprises. The data provide a solid basis for policy analyses that explore which types of firms are responsible for international trade in goods. It answers questions such as who are the firms that are engaged in foreign markets and what are their characteristics. Both the export and import values and the number of exporting and importing enterprises are available for 26 OECD and 6 non-OECD countries. This includes the 27 EU member states plus Canada, Norway, Israel, Turkey, and the United States.
  • Structural Business Statistics (SDBS) provides a wealth of information at a very detailed sectoral level including turnover, value-added, production, operating surplus, employment, labour costs, and investment, to name a few. The breakdown by industrial sector, including services, is supplemented by a further breakdown into size classes.


The SME Finance Forum 

The SME Finance Forum links to a number of useful SME finance data sources, primarily from the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank Group. These are summarized below. 

  • IFC Enterprise Finance Gap Database – This resource primarily uses data from World Bank Enterprise Surveys to estimate the number of MSMEs in the world and the degree of access to credit and use of deposit accounts for formal and informal MSMEs. The database currently covers 177 countries.
  • IFC Financing to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises – The IFC Reach Data is based on portfolio reporting from 2004 to the present, drawing from the IFC’s 268 client financial institutions from 84 countries, and detailing the number and quality of loans made to MSMEs.
  • MSME Economic Indicators – The MSME Economic Indicators Database 2019 records the number of formally registered MSMEs across 176 economies. The 2019 update includes the latest economy MSME definitions, number of enterprises, employment figures, and historical data. In addition, the 2019 update kick-starts the collection of information regarding MSME contribution to the economies and includes information on multiple MSME definitions and data sources within an economy. Data are also disaggregated by firm size.
  • Women – SME Finance Categorized Indicators (WSCI) – The WSCI identifies and categorizes “Women Business and the Law 2018” indicators of relevance to SME finance. It is a first step to aggregate and collate gender data systematically to understand the situation, monitor trends, and assess progress.
  • The Women Business and the Law dataset is the most comprehensive Gender Data set covering 189 economies. Systematic trend analysis can facilitate measurement of progress and gaps over time.


World Bank Enterprise Surveys (WBES)

  • Enterprise Surveys Data offers an expansive array of economic data on 171,000 firms in 149 countries, including direct exports and imports of goods and services in certain sectors. The data is presented in a variety of ways useful to researchers, policymakers, journalists, and others. Note that data users should exercise caution when comparing raw data and point estimates between surveys that did and did not adhere to the Enterprise Surveys Global Methodology. More information on WBES trade data is available here. Researchers can also access the raw survey data by following the instructions here.


Businesses & Entrepreneurs

Find a concise overview of key aspects of international trade for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises with our Businesses & Entrepreneurs Guides.

Policymakers & Researchers

Find a concise overview of key aspects of trade and MSME-related policymaking with our dedicated library of Policymakers & Researchers Guides.