I launched the OECD review of SME and entrepreneurship policy in Ireland with the Minister of State, Deputy Breen, and the Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, on 31 October 2019. The report is pivotal research on the current environment for SMEs and entrepreneurship in Ireland, the scale of which has not previously been undertaken. I am working with my Department officials on how best to progress implementation of the main recommendations in the OECD report and intend to bring forward a national strategic document for SME and entrepreneurship policy outlining planned policy interventions in the near future. The strategy will set out the policy vision, objectives, targets, lines of action and performance indicators specific to SMEs and entrepreneurship. It will cover all areas of policy intervention and all SME and entrepreneurship populations. The new SME and entrepreneurship strategy will be a living document that will continually evolve in line with enterprise needs.
My Department officials will drive forward with the policy formulation through the innovative new SME and entrepreneurship consultative group, chaired by my colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for trade, employment, business, the EU digital Single Market and data protection, Deputy Breen. The new stakeholder group provides a platform for high-level, structured engagement among the Government, agencies, representative bodies and small businesses. The establishment of the SME and entrepreneurship consultation group is an important recommendation from the OECD review, which I have implemented.
The inaugural meeting of the SME and entrepreneurship consultation group took place on Wednesday, 27 March 2019 at the Royal College of Surgeons and it subsumes the functions of the former advisory group on small business. More than 40 stakeholders attended the inaugural meeting of the consultative group, and together with my officials, they will oversee the effective and efficient implementation of the OECD's recommendations.