In addition, as in previous years, the report presents the results of an in-depth analysis of a special topic of particular relevance for SMEs in the European Union. This year’s special topic is the participation of SMEs in the global economy and the extent to which they engage in cross-border activities through trade, foreign direct investment, licensing, etc.
The analysis in the present report focuses on SMEs in the non-financial business sector. This broad sector includes almost all sectors of the economies of the EU-28 Member States.
SMEs comprise three different categories of enterprises, namely micro-enterprises, small enterprises and medium-sized enterprises. The official EC definition of SMEs takes account of three different factors (level of employment, level of turnover, and size of the balance sheet). However, the data in the present report are based only on the employment definition, since this is the definition used by the Structural Business Statistics (SBS) database maintained by Eurostat, the main data source for the report.