The report found that SMEs in the UK represent 99,6% of the total enterprise stock and account for 50,2% of the economic added value and 53,9% of employment in the UK private sector and confirms that SMEs continue to be the EU’s economic backbone.
In 2010, there were almost 20.8 million SMEs in the EU non-financial business economy of which 19.2 million were micro-firms with less than 10 employees.
Altogether, SMEs provided more than two-thirds, with 87.5 million of all employment opportunities in the private sector of the EU and 58.4% of the total gross value-added, compared to the 43 000 large businesses representing only the 0.2% of the EU enterprises.
The number of EU SMEs is expected to rise by 0.9% in 2011 and their gross value-added by 3.9% across the EU. The number of SMEs’ employees are expected to increase by 0.4% after a two year slump. However, the crisis is not over and SMEs still have to operate in an uncertain economic climate.
Key points of the United Kingdom report include: The UK’s SME sector is expected to recover to pre-crisis levels only after 2011. Value-added creation in particular will need more time to recover.
The UKs economy is much less based on micro firms than other EU economies and, correspondingly, large enterprises play a more prominent role.
Overall, the United Kingdom ranks above the EU average across six SBA areas. However, progress has not been very dynamic lately, with only minor improvements recorded, recently, the United Kingdom has addressed seven out of ten SBA areas through targeted policy measures, focusing on facilitating access to finance.