Project SMELeaderBanks

SMELeaderBanks: SMEs Certification (Rating), Financing and Bank Relations: Evaluating the Consequences of the SME-Leader Program in Portugal 2008-2016 for SMEs and Banks


This project aims to study a public policy program of certification (rating) of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) that was introduced in Portugal in 2008 by a governmental agency (IAPMEI), jointly with a group of banks and the national system of Mutual Guarantee. Known as SME-Leader, the program gained additional international visibility after winning the European Commission’s 2016 European Enterprise Promotion Award. This project intends to understand the real effects of the program for SMEs that are certified, including access to financing, investment, and performance, as well as potential network externalities for companies that have business links with these firms. To establish a causal effect between certification of SME and firm-level outcomes we will use regression discontinuity design (RDD). We also plan to examine the incentives and effects for banks involved. We will combine firm level financial data (IES database), with Central Credit Register (CCR) data and information from IAPMEI.


Principle Researcher: Clara Raposo (ADVANCE/CSG/ISEG – ULisboa)
Co-IR: Cláudia Custódio (Nova School of Business and Economics)
Researcher: Diana Bonfim (Bank of Portugal)


FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

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