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2015 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan and 2015 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan Released

The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) compiled and hereby releases reports titled “Trends among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in FY 2014” and “SME Policies in FY 2015” (“2015 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan”), as well as “Trends among Small Enterprises in FY 2014” and “Small Enterprise Policies in FY 2015” (“2015 White Paper on Small Enterprises in Japan”), which were approved by the Cabinet on April 24, 2015.

Key Points of the 2015 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan

Part I of the report analyzes changes in the economic and social structure (changes in profit structure, etc.) that SMEs and small enterprises face from a medium- to long-term perspective, in addition to recent trends among SMEs and small enterprises,

Based on the analysis in Part I, Part II highlights innovation and the development of sales channels, as well as securing and fostering human resources, which are challenges that SMEs and small enterprises need to handle when enhancing their earning power. Regarding innovation and the development of sales channels, the possibility was shown that efforts taken for innovation and the development of sales channels may enable enterprises that operate within a small trade area to increase profits, while the larger the trade area an enterprise operates within, the more actively the enterprise takes such efforts. Regarding human resources, it was revealed that SMEs and small enterprises face a shortage of human resources specializing in fields such as research and development, sales, and information technology (IT). Case examples of SMEs and small enterprises securing and fostering such human resources involving the entire local community were also shown.

Further, Part III covers “local communities” where SMEs and small enterprises are rooted. Specifically, efforts for the revitalization of local economies through the proactive use of local resources and resolution of local issues were highlighted, referring to various cases.

Key points of the 2015 White Paper on Small Enterprises in Japan

This is the first White Paper which was compiled based on the Basic Act for Promoting Small Enterprises

Part I of the paper analyzes the structure of small enterprises. Chapter I analyzes the industrial composition of small enterprises and the proportion of business owners’ relatives to all employees in small enterprises. Subsequently, Chapter II analyzes the trends in the number of small enterprises and other long-term trends, such as the periods of ups and downs for businesses, from a medium- to long-term perspective.

Chapter III covers small enterprises’ efforts toward the development of sales channels and the actual conditions of working on freelance basis, which is attracting attention as a new way of working. Finally, Chapter IV analyzes the relationship between small enterprises and local communities.

Part II presents 42 cases of efforts by various small enterprises and related support organizations that energetically develop their businesses working together with the local communities, despite being dramatically influenced by the turbulence of the times.

Reference

Release date

April 24, 2015

Division in Charge

Research Office, Business Environment Department, SMEA for 2015 White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan

Small Enterprise Division, Business Support Department, SMEA for 2015 White Paper on Small Enterprises in Japan

Related Information

White Papers & Reports

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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