SMEs play a key role in the European Union. Many have a high degree of innovation potential and are therefore also regarded as the "job engine" of the EU. Moreover, SMEs are able to translate research results in marketable products and thus create additional jobs.
Facts about SMEs in Europe
According to the 2017 SME Report published by the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW), companies in the member states of the EU consist almost exclusively of SMEs: 99.8% of all companies are SMEs. There are some five SMEs on average on every square kilometre of land in the EU. What's more, SMEs are responsible on average for generating two out of every three jobs. Nine out of ten SMEs are microenterprises with fewer than ten employees. Refer to the Infographic, which is based on the annual SME report, for an overview of additional facts relating to SMEs in Europe.
These figures prove: SMEs are the backbone of the European economy. They are to thank for prosperity and economic growth and they play a crucial role in the areas of research, development and innovation.
Funding opportunities for SMEs in Europe
Horizon 2020, the European framework programme for research and innovation, as well as numerous other programmes, some of which are tailored especially for SMEs, offer excellent funding opportunities for research, development and innovation projects.