GLOSSARY

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) definition

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What does Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) mean?

According to Commission Recommendation No 2003/361/EC, two factors determine whether a business is a SME: (i) the number of employees, and (ii) either turnover or balance sheet total. • A medium-sized company has up to 250 employees, a turnover of up to €50m or a balance sheet total of up to €43m. • A small-sized company has up to 50 employees and a turnover or balance sheet total of up to €10m. • A micro-company has up to ten employees and a turnover or balance sheet total of up to €2m. In 2013, the EU adopted the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014-20). Its aims are to help SMEs access funding and markets, support entrepreneurs, and create more favourable conditions for business creation and growth. While the EU encourages the use of its SMEs definition as a reference, it is binding only for certain matters, such as state aid, implementing structural funds or EU programmes.

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