Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The abbreviation "SME" is used by international organizations such as the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products. Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.
SMEs outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employ many more people. For example, Australian SMEs make up 98% of all Australian businesses, produce one-third of the total GDP and employ 4.7 million people. In Chile, in the commercial year 2014, 98.5% of the firms were classified as SMEs.In Tunisia, the self-employed workers alone account for about 28% of the total non-farm employment and firms with fewer than 100 employees account for about 62% of total employment. In developing countries, smaller (micro) and informal firms, have a larger share than in developed countries. SMEs are also said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors. Although they create more jobs, there is also a majority of job destruction/contraction.
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SMEs are important for economic and social reasons, given the sectors role in employment. Due to their sizes, SME are heavily influenced by their Chief Executive Officers, a.k.a. CEOs. The CEOs of SMEs often are the founders, owners, and manager of the SMEs. The duties of the CEO in SME are difficult, and mirror those of the CEO of a large company: the CEO needs to strategically allocate her/his time, energy, and assets to direct the SMEs. Typically, the CEO is the strategist, champion and leader for developing the SME or the prime reason for the business failing[ citation needed ].
At the employee level, Petrakis and Kostis (2012) explore the role of interpersonal trust and knowledge in the number of small and medium enterprises. They conclude that knowledge positively affects the number of SMEs, which in turn, positively affects interpersonal trust. Note that the empirical results indicate that interpersonal trust does not affect the number of SMEs. Therefore, although knowledge development can reinforce SMEs, trust becomes widespread in a society when the number of SMEs is greater.
Multilateral organizations have been criticized for using one measure for all.The legal boundary of SMEs around the world vary, and below is a list of the upper limits of SMEs in some countries.
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Most of Egypt's businesses are small-sized, with 97 percent employing fewer than 10 workers, according to census data released by state-run statistics body CAPMAS.
Medium-sized enterprises with 10 to 50 employees account for around 2.7 percent of total businesses. However, big businesses with over 50 employees account for 0.4 percent of all enterprises nationwide.
The data is part of Egypt's 2012/13 economic census on establishments ranging from small stalls to big enterprises. Economic activity outside the establishments – like street vendors and farmers, for example – were excluded from the census.
The results show that Egypt is greatly lacking in medium-sized businesses.
Seventy percent of the country's 2.4 million businesses have only one or two employees. But less than 0.1 percent – only 784 businesses – employ between 45 and 49 people.
In Kenya, the term changed to MSME, which stands for "micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises".
For micro-enterprises, the maximum number of employees is up to 10 employees. For small enterprises, it is from 10 to 50. For medium enterprises, it is from 50 to 100.
The Central Bank of Nigeria defines small and medium enterprises in Nigeria according to asset base and number of staff employed. The criteria are an asset base that is between N5 million to N500 million, and a staff strength that is between 11 and 100 employees.[ citation needed ]
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the Central bank and apex monetary authority of Nigeria established by the CBN Act of 1958 and commenced operations on July 1, 1959.
In Somalia, the term is SME (for "small, medium, and micro enterprises"); elsewhere in Africa, MSME stands for "micro, small, and medium enterprises". An SME is defined as a small business that has more than 30 employees but less than 250 employees.
In the National Small Business Amendment Act 2004,micro-businesses in the different sectors, varying from the manufacturing to the retail sectors, are defined as businesses with five or fewer employees and a turnover of up to R100,000 ZAR. Very small businesses employ between 6 and 20 employees, while small businesses employ between 21 and 50 employees. The upper limit for turnover in a small business varies from R1 million in the Agricultural sector to R13 million in the Catering, Accommodations and other Trade sectors as well as in the Manufacturing sector, with a maximum of R32 million in the Wholesale Trade sector.
Medium-sized businesses usually employ up to 200 people (100 in the Agricultural sector), and the maximum turnover varies from R5 million in the Agricultural sector to R51 million in the Manufacturing sector and R64 million in the Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied Services sector.
A comprehensive definition of an SME in South Africa is, therefore, an enterprise with one or more of the following characteristics:
Under section 7 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006, the Indian government defined the size of micro, small, and medium enterprises as:
(i) a micro enterprise, where the investment in plant and machinery does not exceed twenty-five lakh rupees
(ii) a small enterprise, where the investment in plant and machinery is more than twenty-five lakh rupees but does not exceed five crore rupees; or
(iii) a medium enterprise, where the investment in plant and machinery is more than five crore rupees but does not exceed ten crore rupees;
(b) in the case of the enterprises engaged in providing or rendering of services, as—
(i) a micro enterprise, where the investment in equipment does not exceed ten lakh rupees;
(ii) a small enterprise, where the investment in equipment is more than ten lakh rupees but does not exceed two crore rupees; or(iii) a medium enterprise, where the investment in equipment is more than two crore rupees but does not exceed five crore rupees.
Businesses that are declared as MSMEs and within specific sectors and criteria can then apply for "priority sector" lending to help with business expenses; banks have annual targets set by the Prime Minister's Task Force on MSMEs for year-on-year increases of lending to various categories of MSMEs.
In Indonesia, the government defines micro, small, and medium enterprises (Indonesian: Usaha Mikro Kecil dan Menengah, UMKM) based on their assets and revenues according to Law No. 20/2008:
|Type||Maximum assets, Rp||Maximum revenue, Rp|
An annual revenue of Rp 50 billion is approximately equal to USD 3.7 million as of November 2017.
In Bangladesh, Bangladesh Bank defines Small and medium enterprises based on Fixed Asset, Employed Manpower and Yearly turn over and they are definitely not Public Limited Co. and requires these characteristics -
|Serial No||Sector||Fixed Asset other than Land and Building (Tk) |
SE (Small Enterprises) & ME (Medium Enterprises)
|Employed Manpower||Yearly Turn Over (Tk) |
|01||Services||For SE 1000,000 - 200,00,000 & |
For ME 200,00,000 - 30,00,00,000
|SE - 16-50 & ME - 51-120||N/A|
|02||Business||For SE 1000,000 - 200,00,000||SE - 16-50||SE 10,000,000-120,000,000|
|03||Industrial||For SE 7,500,000 - 150,000,000 |
For Me 150,000,000 - 500,000,000
|SE - 31-120 & ME - 121-300||N/A|
With effect from 1 April 2011, the definition of SMEs is businesses with annual sales turnover of not more than $100 million or employing no more than 200 staff.
The criteria for defining the size of a business differ from country to country, with many countries having programs of business rate reduction and financial subsidy for SMEs. According to the European Commission,the SME are the enterprises that meet the following definition of staff headcount and either the turnover or balance sheet total definitions:
|Company category||Staff headcount||Turnover||Balance sheet total|
|Medium-sized||< 250||≤ €50 million||≤ €43 million|
|Small||< 50||≤ €10 million||≤ €10 million|
|Micro||< 10||≤ €2 million||≤ €2 million|
In July 2011, the European Commission said it would open a consultation on the definition of SMEs in 2012. In Europe, there are three broad parameters which define SMEs:
The European definition of SME follows: "The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro."In order to prepare for an evaluation and revision of some features of the small and medium-sized enterprises definition European Union established public consultation period from 6 February 2018 to 6 May 2018. Public consultation is available for all EU member country citizens and organizations. Especially, national and regional authorities, enterprises, business associations or organizations, venture capital providers, research and academic institutions, and individual citizens are expected as the main contributors.
EU member states have had individual definitions of what constitutes an SME. For example, the definition in Germany had a limit of 255 employees, while in Belgium it could have been 100. The result is that while a Belgian business of 249 employees would be taxed at full rate in Belgium, it would nevertheless be eligible for SME subsidy under a European-labelled programme.
SMEs are a crucial element in the supplier network of large enterprises which are already on their way towards Industry 4.0.According to German economist Hans-Heinrich Bass, "empirical research on SME as well as policies to promote SME have a long tradition in [West] Germany, dating back into the 19th century. Until the mid-20th century most researchers considered SME as an impediment to further economic development and SME policies were thus designed in the framework of social policies. Only the Ordoliberalism school, the founding fathers of Germany's social market economy, discovered their strengths, considered SME as a solution to mid-20th century economic problems (mass unemployment, abuse of economic power), and laid the foundations for non-selective (functional) industrial policies to promote SMEs."
The SME sector in Poland generates almost 50% of the GDP, and out of that, for instance, in 2011, micro companies generated 29.6%, small companies 7.7%, and medium companies 10.4% (big companies 24.0%; other entities 16.5%, and revenues from customs duties and taxes generated 11.9%). In 2011, out of the total of 1,784,603 entities operating in Poland, merely 3,189 were classified as "large", so 1,781,414 were micro, small, or medium. SMEs employed 6.3 million people out of the total of 9.0 million of labour employed in the private sector. In Poland in 2011 was 36.2 SMEs per 1,000 of inhabitants.
In the UK, a company is defined as being an SME if it meets two out of three criteria: it has a turnover of less than £25m, it has fewer than 250 employees, it has gross assets of less than £12.5m.Very small companies are called in the UK micro-entities, which have simpler financial reporting requirements. Such micro-enterprises must meet any two of the following criteria: balance sheet £316,000 or less; turnover £632,000 or less; employees 10 or less.
Many small and medium-sized businesses form part of the UK's currently growing Mittelstand , or Brittelstand as it is also often named.These are businesses in Britain that are not only small or medium but also have a much broader set of values and more elastic definition.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills estimated that at the start of 2014, 99.3% of UK private sector businesses were SMEs, with their £1.6 trillion annual turnover accounting for 47% of private sector turnover.
In order to support SMEs, the UK government set a target in 2010 "that 25% of government’s spend, either directly or in supply chains, goes to SMEs by 2015"; it achieved this by 2013.
In Switzerland, the Federal Statistical Office defines small and medium-sized enterprises as companies with less than 250 employees.The categories are the following:
Industry Canada defines a small business as one with fewer than 100 paid employees and a medium-sized business as one with at least 100 and fewer than 500 employees. As of December 2012, there were 1,107,540 employer businesses in Canada, of which 1,087,803 were small. Small businesses make up 98.2 percent of employer businesses, medium-sized businesses make up 1.6 percent of employer businesses and large businesses make up 0.1 percent of employer businesses. In 2012, over 7.7 million employees, or 69.7 percent of the total private labour force, worked for small businesses and 2.2 million employees, or 20.2 percent of the labour force, worked for medium-sized businesses. In total, SMEs employed about 10 million individuals, or 89.9 percent of employees. Canadian high-growth firms are present in every economic sector and are not just concentrated in knowledge-based industries. In terms of employment, the highest concentrations of high-growth firms in Canada during the 2006–2009 period were in construction (4.9 percent of all firms); business, building and other support services (4.6 percent); and professional, scientific and technical services (4.5 percent). In 2011, only 10.4 percent of SMEs exported. Nonetheless, they were responsible for $150 billion, or about 41.0 percent, of Canada's total value of exports.
Corporations in Canada are generally taxed at 29% federally. Canadian Controlled private corporations receive a 17% reduction in the tax rate on taxable income from active businesses up to $500,000. This small business deduction is reduced for corporations whose taxable capital exceeding $10M, and is completely eliminated for corporations whose taxable capital exceeds $15M.It has been estimated that almost $2 trillion of Canadian SMEs will be coming up for sale over the next decade which is twice as large as the assets of the top 1,000 Canadian pension plans and approximately the same size as Canadian annual GDP.
The small and medium-sized companies in Mexico are called PYMEs, which is a direct translation of SMEs. But there's another categorization in the country called MiPyMEs. The MiPyMEs are micro, small and medium-sized businesses, with an emphasis on micro which are one man companies or a type of freelance.
In the United States, the Small Business Administration sets small business criteria based on industry, ownership structure, revenue and number of employees (which in some circumstances may be as high as 1500, although the cap is typically 500). [ citation needed ]Both the US and the EU generally use the same threshold of fewer than 10 employees for small offices (SOHO).
Also in the United States, small and medium-sized manufacturers are referred to as SMMs,which the US Department of Energy classifies as having gross annual sales below $100 million, fewer than 500 employees at the plant site, and annual energy bills more than $100,000 but less than $2.5 million.
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In Australia, a SME has 200 or fewer employees. Microbusinesses have 1–4 employees, small businesses 5–19, medium businesses 20–199, and large businesses 200+.Australian SMEs make up 98% of all Australian businesses, produced one third of total GDP, and employ 4.7 million people. SMEs represent 90 per cent of all goods exporters and over 60% of services exporters.
In New Zealand, 99% of businesses employ 50 or less staff, and the official definition of a small business is one with 19 or fewer employees.It is estimated that approximately 28% of New Zealand's gross domestic product is produced by companies with fewer than 20 employees.
Small businesses are privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have fewer employees and/or less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation. Businesses are defined as "small" in terms of being able to apply for government support and qualify for preferential tax policy varies depending on the country and industry. Small businesses range from fifteen employees under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, fifty employees according to the definition used by the European Union, and fewer than five hundred employees to qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. While small businesses can also be classified according to other methods, such as annual revenues, shipments, sales, assets, or by annual gross or net revenue or net profits, the number of employees is one of the most widely used measures.
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is a racially selective programme launched by the South African government to redress the inequalities of Apartheid by giving black South African citizens economic privileges that are not available to Whites. It is a form of Affirmative action. Although race is the overriding factor, it includes measures such as Employment Preference, skills development, ownership, management, socioeconomic development, and preferential procurement. By 2015 around R350 billion worth BEE deals had been done by the top 100 companies on the JSE with an additional R50 billion by private South African companies indicating that 10 percent of South Africa's GDP had been transferred to 20 percent of the population in the 15 years since 2000.
Industrial Development Bank of India was established in 1964 by an Act to provide credit and other financial facilities for the development of the fledgling Indian industry. Initially it operated as a subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India RBI transferred it to GOI. Many institutes of national importance finds their roots in IDBI like Sidbi, Exim bank, NSE and NSDL. The war cry for reforms in financial space saw GOI reducing its stake in the bank in the year 2019. At present, Life Insurance Corporation of India holds 51% stake in IDBI Bank. Following Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) acquiring 51 per cent of the total paid-up equity share capital of the bank, IDBI Bank has been categorised as a private sector bank for regulatory purposes with effect from January 21, 2019.
A micro-enterprise is generally defined as a small business employing nine people or fewer, and having a balance sheet or turnover less than a certain amount. The terms microenterprise and microbusiness have the same meaning, though traditionally when referring to a small business financed by microcredit the term microenterprise is often used. Similarly, when referring to a small, usually legal business that is not financed by microcredit, the term microbusiness is often used. Internationally, most microenterprises are family businesses employing one or two persons. Most microenterprise owners are primarily interested in earning a living to support themselves and their families. They only grow the business when something in their lives changes and they need to generate a larger income. According to information found on the Census.gov website, microenterprises make up 95% of the 28 million US companies tracked by the census.
Mittelstand commonly refers to small and medium-sized enterprises in German-speaking countries, especially in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, however Britain also has its own 'Brittelstand'. The term Mittelstand proves difficult to translate and causes a lot of confusion. The majority of definitions define the Mittelstand as a statistical category and most commonly suggest that Mittelstand firms are small and medium-sized enterprises with annual revenues up to 50 million Euro and a maximum of 499 employees.
Small industrial Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is a development financial institution in India, headquartered at Lucknow and having its offices all over the country. Its purpose is to provide refinance facilities and short term lending to industries, and serves as the principal financial institution in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. SIDBI also coordinates the functions of institutions engaged in similar activities. It was established on April 2, 1990, through an Act of Parliament. It is headquartered in Lucknow. SIDBI operates under the Department of Financial Services, Government of India.
SMART: SCOTLAND is a high profile innovation support grant scheme in Scotland aimed at small and medium-sized firms. It supports commercially viable projects which represent a significant technological advance for the UK sector or industry concerned.
TransUnion CIBIL Limited is a credit information company operating in India. It maintains credit files on 600 million individuals and 32 million businesses. TransUnion is one of four credit bureaus operating in India and is part of TransUnion, an American multinational group.
Ireland's County & City Enterprise Boards (CCEBs) were established in 1993, as companies limited by guarantee, during a time of high unemployment (15.1%) and limited opportunity for business. They were given statutory status under the Industrial Development Act of 1995. Essentially they were created to stimulate economic development and to cultivate an ethos of local entrepreneurship. While their role is primarily a local one within a broader national strategy, their importance has been raised to an international level by the emphasis placed on entrepreneurship, innovation, incubation and balanced regional development by the European Union.
Small and medium enterprises in Mexico generally called PYMEs, are an important segment of the Mexican economy. They are classified in two types of small and medium enterprises: family businesses and non-family businesses.
Priority Sector Lending is an important role given by the (RBI) to the banks for providing a specified portion of the bank lending to few specific sectors like agriculture and allied activities, micro and small enterprises, poor people for housing, students for education and other low income groups and weaker sections.. This is essentially meant for an all round development of the economy as opposed to focusing only on the financial sector.
Transcapitalbank — is a Russian commercial bank with a share of foreign capital which includes the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), German Investment Company DEG and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Headquartered in Moscow, Transcapitalbank operates in more than 18 regions, providing financial services to 30,000 corporate customers and over 212,000 retail clients. Transcapitalbank is a top 50 bank in Russia by assets and by equity. The bank is also ranked #7 by lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Transcapitalbank is a member of Deposit Insurance Agency. The principal business activity of Transcapitalbank is providing financing to corporate, retail and small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia through direct lending, trade and export credit agency finance, consumer loans, investment banking, factoring and leasing. Transcapitalbank is a full-service bank and offers its clients a wide range of banking services including international settlements, foreign exchange, deposits, custody services with precious metals, securities trading, plastic cards issuance and asset management.
The Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) is an Indian NGO that is the progressive face of Indian MSMEs and is regarded as such by the Government of India. It is a member of the National MSME Board formed under the MSME Act 2006. FISME is consulted by SME policy making set-up of the country and also works in close coordination with the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises as well as major multilateral and bilateral bodies in India such as UNIDO, ILO, UNCTAD, DFID, GTZ etc. Supported by UNCTAD, DFID and Ministry of Commerce & Industry, as a Tier-I partner, FISME is leading 22 provincial SME bodies in 18 states.
Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits are a UK tax incentive designed to encourage companies to invest in R&D. Companies can reduce their tax bill or claim payable cash credits as a proportion of their R&D expenditure.
Knowledge & News Network (KNN) is a community-owned not-for-profit alternative media platform established to address the problems of Indian MSMEs arising from gaps in information and knowledge flows. It is promoted by GIZ-German Agency for International Cooperation and the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) under the aegis of an umbrella bilateral development programme jointly supported by Government of Federal Republic of Germany and Government of India.
Bibby Financial Services (BFS) is a multinational corporation that provides financial services to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Dr. Sailendra Narain is a development finance specialist born in Nawadah, Bihar Province, India. For over 40 years, Narain has been a pioneer in developing the global SME sector. His specialities include: designing policy frameworks for SME Growth, establishing SME financing programs in banking and development financial institutions, and capacity building for SMEs with a focus on Entrepreneurship.
Micro businesses in the Philippines can be defined according to the size of assets, size of equity capital, and number of employees. A typical micro business is a business that employs nine people or fewer, with assets of ₱3 million and below.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are called as KOS or KOM in Azerbaijan. SMEs have a leading position in the provision of economic growth and employment in Azerbaijan.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of India. According to the act, "any buyer who fails to make payment to MSMEs, as per agreed terms or a maximum of 45 days, would be liable to pay monthly compounded interest at three times the bank rate notified by RBI". Industries are divided into 2 categories. Manufacturing and services. They are further divided into micro, small and medium. In manufacturing sector, micro industries' capital requirements are under 25 lakh rupees. Small industries' are from 25 to 500 lakhs and medium industries' are 500 to 1000 lakhs. In services sector, micro industries' capital requirements are under 10 lakh rupees. Small industries' are from 10 to 200 lakhs and medium industries' are 200 to 500 lakhs.