The definition of an SME covers all enterprises with less than 250 employees and equal to or less than either €50 million turnover or €43 million balance sheet total. Micro-enterprises are the smallest category of SME, with less than ten employees and a turnover or balance sheet total equal to or less than €2 million.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in shaping Europe’s economy, accounting for 99 % of enterprises, of which 92 % are micro-enterprises.1 They provide more than two thirds of private sector employment and play a key role in economic growth. They have a crucial importance to the European economy as employers and sources of innovation. The Commission is committed to support their development, notably through the “Small Business Act” with its “Think Small First” principle and by facilitating, amongst other things, access to EU funding. The Commission’s Smart Regulation agenda also aims to help small businesses by minimising the regulatory burden of legislation that is deemed necessary at EU level.

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