What is an SME?

The European Definition

The European Commission defines an SME by headcount and turnover. This is the definition that I am referring to.

The term SME includes microsmall and medium sized enterprises:

  • A micro enterprise is categorised by the headcount being less than 10, and the annual turnover being no more than €2million.
  • A small enterprise can have no more than 50 employees, or no more than a €10million turnover or balance sheet figure.
  • A medium enterprise is one with a headcount of between 50 and 250. The definition of an SME was revised in 2005 by the European Commission, to guarantee that the support schemes designed for SMEs are accessed only by them, and not larger institutions.

Medium SMEs only make up 1% of all SMEs.

But it can depends what country you are in…

The definition of SMEs can be confusing as it varies from country to countrys:

  • Denmark ‘fewer than 500 employees’
  • Mexico and Brazil ‘fewer than 100 employees’.
  • Australia ‘up to 200 employees’
  • Indonesia ‘less than $80k of assests’
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC)’a headcount of 100-500′

2 thoughts on “What is an SME?

  1. Pingback: “A small business is not a little big business” « The Sustainable SME

  2. Pingback: Invite to Better CSR Advice to SMEs « The Sustainable SME

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