27 June: SME Day

Since 2017, 27 June has been celebrated as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day under the auspices of the United Nations.

día pymes
Communication Team

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Origin of SME Day 

27 June is Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Day, designated by the United Nations to highlight the potential of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to transform economies, foster job creation and promote equitable economic growth.

But why is this day being celebrated?

A resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on 6 April 2017 ‘decides to designate 27 June as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day’.

The same UN document ‘invites Member States to facilitate the celebration of the Day by encouraging the presentation of research, policy discussions, practitioners’ workshops and testimonies of entrepreneurs from around the world, to the extent possible, in collaboration with public, private and non-profit sector organisations, and stresses that the cost of all activities that may result from the implementation of this resolution should be covered by voluntary contributions”.

This day on 27 June should not be confused with the European SME Day, which has been celebrated since earlier dates. Specifically, after being created in 2008 by the European Commission and commemorated on 12 May in the 27 countries that form part of the European Union.

What is an SME and what types exist

According to European legislation, SMEs (or MSMEs, if microenterprises are included) can be subdivided into microenterprises, small enterprises and medium-sized enterprises:

  • Micro-enterprises. No more than ten people employed and an annual turnover or balance sheet in the same period of time that does not exceed two million euros.
  • Small enterprises. A workforce of less than fifty people and an annual turnover or balance sheet that does not exceed 10 million euros.
  • Medium-sized companies. With a number of employees not exceeding 250 and an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euros or with a balance sheet total for the same period of time not exceeding 43 million euros.

The importance of SMEs

The importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises can be seen in the fact that they represent nine out of every ten companies in the world as a whole, generating between 60 and 70% of total employment for 50% of the world’s GDP, according to UN data.

The New York-based organisation also stresses that these types of companies with fewer than 250 people working in them act as the backbone of the different societies in which they are present through their contribution to both local and national economies.

In fact, the estimate for 2030 is that 600 million jobs will be needed on a global scale to absorb the growing workforce, so the development of these enterprises is of great importance.

One of the problems faced by SMEs is access to finance, a problem that varies according to the level of economic development in different countries. Specifically, 41% of SMEs in the least developed countries, according to the UN website, consider access to finance to be difficult, a figure that drops to 30% in middle-income countries and 15% in high-income countries. 


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