Chapter 3: Growth-Oriented Business

In Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, small to medium enterprises generate 55 percent of the GDP. However, in the poorest countries, GDP is often driven by government and large businesses; they lack the economic engine that SMEs can provide. Enterprise development is especially critical to those countries.

Growth-oriented businesses, sometimes called “gazelles,” “impact entrepreneurs” or the “missing middle,” are distinguished by their ability to grow economies faster and further than micro-enterprises.1 They also create more new jobs and add more economic value than long established businesses. While growth-oriented entrepreneurs have received significant attention, the YEO field is still learning what works best in terms of policies, partnerships and programs to support young growth-oriented entrepreneurs. Nurturing growthoriented businesses run by women, rural youth, or other often marginalized populations will also contribute to more equitable societies and provide powerful role models for those groups. At the 2011 GYEOC, panelists discussed initiatives, research, and results from this growing sector of the field.