This paper examines the perceptions of small firms from eight OECD countries towards their national climate for innovation, and the perceived importance of outsiders in assisting them with innovation projects. A total of 505 firms were surveyed, each had an innovation they were seeking to commercialise. Key issues examined were the firm's senior managers' perceptions of how supportive their country was to innovators in relation to government policy, the cost of doing business and the quality of communications infrastructure. Also examined was the ease of access to markets, skilled labour, research centres and external financing. The managers were also asked to indicate how much value they placed on outsiders such as accountants, venture financiers, customers, suppliers, lawyers and others in relation to their strategic decision making over commercialisation activities. Differences were found between the country sub-samples using discriminant analysis. However, the similarities between these firms suggest more commonality than differences. © 2014 Imperial College Press.