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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

SME Performance Review

The SME Performance Review is one of the main tools the European Commission uses to monitor and assess countries' progress in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA) on a yearly basis. With an emphasis on the measures from the SBA Action Plan, the review brings comprehensive information on the performance of SMEs in EU Member States and other 9 partner countries. It consists of two parts – Annual Report on European SMEs and SBA country fact sheets.

Brussels, 26 November 2013 - The European Commission published today the 2012/2013 Annual Report on European SMEs. The Report on European SMEs is prepared on a yearly basis. It provides an overview of the size, structure and importance of SMEs to the European economy and their contribution to growth and jobs, as emphasised in the Small Business Act and Europe 2020 strategy. Comparisons with important partner countries outside the EU and with the large enterprise sector are also included.

Annual Report on European SMEs

2013 report on European SME

2013 is likely to mark a turning point for the EU SMEs. After five years of an uncertain economic environment, 2013 is expected to be the first year since 2008 with a combined increase in aggregated employment and value-added of EU’s SMEs. The total employment in the EU SMEs is expected to increase by 0.3% and value-added by 1% as compared to 2011. Preliminary forecasts expect the positive developments further accelerating in 2014. These promising projections are backed up by other positive signals. Over the last three years, an increasing number of Member States have seen their small business sectors returning to an expansion of employment and value-added, or at least a petering out of the decline. If the macroeconomic conditions hold, this development would mark the end of the most challenging crisis the European SMEs have experienced in the recent history.

 

Reports are available here:

  • Annual report: 2013 pdf - 12 MB [12 MB] ; 2012 pdf - 3 MB [3 MB]
  • Database for the Annual report: 2013 zip - 5 MB [5 MB]
  • Forecast methodology: 2013 pdf - 364 KB [364 KB]

Employment trends by size classValue added trends by size class

SBA fact sheets

The SBA fact sheets assess progress in implementation of the Small Business Act at national level. The country sheets focus on indicators and national policy developments equivalent to the 10 SBA's policy dimensions in the 28 EU Member States, Albania, FYROM, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Please note that the SBA fact sheets:

  • do not constitute a comprehensive assessment of Member States' policies but only one input for it
  • should be regarded as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, any other relevant in-depth studies of SME policies

Database of SBA policy measures: Download the database of SBA policy measures: 2013 (Access) zip - 2 MB [2 MB]

Summary Paper: Summary Paper pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

Methodology: 2013 pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

 

>>> See also country sheets for Israel, Liechtenstein and Malta

>>> Click here to see the full country list

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, State of Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom

SBA Fact Sheets database

Select a country and SBA principle to see data:

Policy Studies

Attitudes of European entrepreneurs towards eco-innovation

1. Flash Eurobarometer on SMEs, Resource Efficiency and Green Markets (16/12/2013)

In December 2013, the European Commission published the second Flash Eurobarometer analyzing the role SMEs play in resources efficiency and green markets.

As the study reveals, 42% of EU SMEs have at least one full or part-time green employee, a 5% increase in respect of last Flash Eurobarometer, which exceeds the expectations set by businesses themselves in March 2012. However, there is still a lot of untapped potential to be used by SMEs when it comes to exporting green products and services, as well as room for improvement when green public procurement and environmental management systems are concerned.

Check out the Eurobarometer results here:

Report summary
Full report
Attitudes of European entrepreneurs towards eco-innovation

2. Flash Eurobarometer on SMEs, Resource Efficiency and Green Markets (27/03/2012)

In March 2012, the European Commission published the first Flash Eurobarometer analyzing the role SMEs play in resources efficiency and green markets.

As the study reveals, green jobs are mostly created in SMEs compared to large companies as 37% of EU SMEs have at least one full or part-time green employee. However, there is still a lot of untapped potential to be used by SMEs when it comes to the single market for green products and services, and a room for improvement when cross-border administrative and legal procedures are concerned.

Check out the Eurobarometer results here:

Report summary
Full report
Do SMEs create more and better jobs?

3. Study on the SMEs' impact on the EU labour market (16/01/2012)

What role SMEs play in creating more and better jobs? The answer to this question was the main objective of the Study on the SME's impact on the EU labour market published by the European Commission in January 2012.

According to the analysis, 85% of net new jobs created in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were in fact created by SMEs. This figure is considerably higher than the 67%-share of SMEs in total employment.

The study has also shown that new companies (younger than five years) are responsible for an overwhelming majority of the new jobs created in the EU.

Consult the report here:

Report: "Do SMEs create more and better jobs?" pdf - 977 KB [977 KB]
Methodological note pdf - 328 KB [328 KB]
EU SMEs and subcontracting

4. Study on EU SMEs and subcontracting

The aim of the study published in 2009 formed a picture of SMEs' subcontracting practices and identified room for policy actions targeted at SME subcontractors.

Access the study documents here:

Report on EU SMEs and subcontracting pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

Contact

entr-spr@ec.europa.eu

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