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Why would SMEs use the “Small Business Assessment Tool” (SBAT)?

As a management tool, SBAT combines disparate pieces of information on SMEs in a uniform frame. It provides a portrait of a company compared to its counterparts assessing the structure, the behavior and the performance.

Most of available assessment tools rest upon the analyze of balance sheets and financial ratios.  This traditional perspective, do not adapt the recommendations resulting from this analysis to the specificities of the company.

SBAT proceeds differently since, before providing any recommendation, it determines the business world in which a company operates. Once the characteristics of the competitors are known, the company is compared to a proper bench from 3 points of views (innovation, internationalization, financing).

Thanks to this double checking based on quantitative and qualitative criteria, it is possible to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a company and to propose a set of corrective and preventive actions in order to improve its competitiveness, including enhancing its role in a global value chain, given the economic rules in force in its business world

A clear signal to banks and financial partners

In addition to conventional financial analysis and the ratings that are widely used by financial intermediaries, a potential borrower may find an advantage in giving an alternative evaluation focusing not only on the repayment capacity but also, and maybe mainly, on the possibility of survival and growth. SBAT can help entrepreneurs to negotiate with credit and equity suppliers (banks, venture capitalists, business angels, etc.) bringing evidence about their position compared to an adequate bench. 

A clear signal to development agencies and other stakeholders

The firm may need to demonstrate its robustness in order to get supports or grants from support agencies that are increasingly faced with the question of evaluating the impact of their actions.  Eager to avoid diluting their assistance, these official supporting agencies can benefit from an evaluation method that allows them to assess the impact that the assistance requested by the firm is likely to have, both directly (by improving the product-market match) and by induction (positioning the firm most successfully in its world). SMEs may thus use SBAT to better communicate with local or regional advisory services and development agencies that are primarily interested in the viability of the jobs created by the firms they finance and, generally, that of the firm's suppliers.

SBAT has been validated by 15 business support organizations and universities in 5 developing countries and is calibrated with World Bank data (enterprise survey) for 4,142 companies. A Mediterranean specific version is actually used in a European program (Medvalley) funded by the European Commission. The ultimate goal of MedValley is to unlock the major obstacles to the development of innovative enterprises and increase MED (Southern Med Partner) countries’ international market positioning in key sectors.

The project website

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