Small and medium-sized enterprises
12 September 2022
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined by the European Commission as having less than 250 employees. SMEs are the backbone of Europe's economy. They represent 99% of all businesses in the EU.Read more
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined by the European Commission as having less than 250 employees. SMEs are the backbone of Europe's economy. They represent 99% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU. The European Commission considers SMEs and entrepreneurship as key to ensuring economic growth, innovation, job creation, and social integration in the EU. The European Commission policy in relation to SMEs supports start-ups and scale-ups in particular. Internationalisation beyond the EU increases SMEs' performance, enhances competitiveness, and reinforces sustainable growth.
Business not as usual: How EU companies adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic
Tools of trade: Supporting export businesses to improve their workplace practices
Eurofound’s work on small and medium-sized enterprises links in with the Commission’s 2019–2024 priority on promoting our European way of life.
- About Eurofound: EU priorities: Working for a strong social Europe
- European Commission: Promoting our European way of life
Key outputs over the years
Publications & dataTop
The sections below provide access to a range of publications, data and ongoing work on this topic.
- Publications (88)
- Ongoing work
Eurofound publications come in a variety of formats, including reports, policy briefs, blogs, articles and presentations.
Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in UkraineArticle 12 September 2022
Business not as usual: How EU companies adapted to the COVID-19 pandemicPublication 9 December 2021
Tools of trade: Supporting export businesses to improve their workplace practicesPublication 6 October 2021
Innovation in EU companies: Do workplace practices matter?Publication 1 July 2021
What can companies do to spark innovation in the workplace?Blog 28 June 2021
Working conditions in sectorsPublication 5 November 2020
Social dialogue and HR practices in European global companiesPublication 16 June 2020
Game-changing technologies: Transforming production and employment in EuropePublication 22 January 2020
Future of work: What can we learn from cooperatives and social enterprises?Blog 15 November 2019
Cooperatives and social enterprises: Work and employment in selected countriesPublication 12 June 2019
Research continues in this topic on a variety of themes, which are outlined below with links to forthcoming titles.