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Definition of EU SMEs

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With the progress that EU has been posting over past several years, it is quite easy to get the impression that the European economy is dominated by large, multinational enterprises. Their multi-billion Euro takeovers, global expansion plans or even the recent bankruptcies always dominate the headlines.

However, what most of the people fail to see is that European economy is in fact dominated by the SMEs. They provide two out of three of the private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total value addition created by businesses in EU. Moreover, SMEs are the true backbone of the European economy and are accountable for the wealth and economic growth of the region. They also play a key role in innovation and R&D in the region. There are over 23 million SMEs representing around 99.8% of all the enterprises and 57% of them are sole proprietorships. They provide two third of the total private sector employment, represent 80% of total job creation and produce more than half of EU’s added value. However the EU SMEs are struggling to grow. 9 out of 10 SMEs in Europe are microenterprises employing an average of 2 people.

Considering their importance to the economy and the role they play for increasing the competitiveness and dynamics of the European economy; Union has been taking several actions. In order to help them realize their growth potential, the Union is working towards promoting entrepreneurship, creating a friendlier business environment, providing them assistance to explore new markets and also awarding them for outstanding activities in their sectors.

In Europe, enterprises qualify as micro, small and medium enterprises if they fulfill the following conditions:
Micro Enterprises< 10 Employees< 2 Million Euros
Small Enterprises< 50 Employees< 10 Million Euros
Medium Enterprises< 250 Employees< 50 Million Euros

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