Made in Germany
Since 2017, the International Day of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises has been celebrated on 27 June: The United Nations created this day to emphasize the importance of “Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises” for the further development and growth of national economies. The German SME sector is unique in international comparison: as an economic, technology and innovation engine, it stands for the internationally renowned quality feature “Made in Germany”. 97.1 % of German exporters are SMEs. The Centre for European Economic Research ZEW estimates that around 1,500 companies from the German SME sector are global hidden champions.
SMEs as the backbone of the German economy
SMEs include companies that do not exceed defined thresholds in terms of balance sheet total, turnover and number of employees: According to KfW Bankengruppe, this includes private companies in all sectors of the economy with an annual turnover of no more than 500 million euros and no more than 499 employees. In Germany, 99.5% of all enterprises are SMEs. That is around 3.5 million companies. They employ 58% of all employees subject to social insurance contributions, and 81.7% of all apprentices are trained there.
Characteristic of German SMEs: ownership, management and liability are traditionally in one hand. Also typical of SMEs are responsible dealings with employees, customers and business partners as well as regional roots, continuity and thinking in terms of generations. As a strong partner for large companies worldwide, SMEs bear responsibility for the skilled workers of tomorrow and stand for innovative strength, sustainable growth and job creation.
SME research and teaching in Vienna
The cradle of research and teaching on the topic of “SMEs” lies at the Hochschule für Welthandel, the predecessor institution of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU): a professorship for “Business Administration with Special Reference to Small Business” was established there as early as 1936. Interesting facts about the history of the chair up to today’s Institute for SME Management can be found on the WU website. Today, with its Institute for SME Management, WU is committed to research and to training those who will exploit the future potential of SMEs.
PR for small & medium-sized enterprises
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the German economy. German SMEs are a quality term abroad. In English, for example, people speak of “German mittelstand”.
Industrie-Contact has found a large part of its customers in the past and present in the German Mittelstand. In addition, many foreign SMEs also belong to the reference list of our agency. Owner-managed, dynamic, innovative, fast decision-making processes – this SME philosophy also coincides with the agency philosophy. That is why SMEs and Industrie-Contact interact particularly well together.