Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs – up to 249 persons employed) are considered as a driver of the
economy of the European Union (EU), creating jobs and contributing to economic growth.
They also substantially contribute to trade within the EU. 98% of companies trading goods within the EU are SMEs,
including around 70% that are micro-enterprises (up to 9 persons employed). SMEs are responsible for half the
value of the intra-EU trade in goods. In detail, they account for 51% of intra-EU imports and 45% of intra-EU
On the occasion of the European SME week, which aims to promote entrepreneurship, Eurostat, the statistical
office of the European Union, publishes data on enterprises broken down by employment size classes, with a
special focus on the importance of small and medium enterprises in intra-EU trade