One in six workers self-employed
Two-thirds of persons employed in small and medium businesses
Within the EU25, self-employment accounted for 16% of total employment across the non-financial businesseconomy (NFBE)1 in 2005, with 19% of men self-employed, compared with 11% of women.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which employ less than 250 people, are the backbone of the EU's NFBE, as they represented 99.8% of EU25 NFBE enterprises in 2003 and employed about two thirds of the workforce: 30% in micro businesses (with less than 10 persons employed), 21% in small businesses (with a workforce of between 10 and 49 people), and 17% in medium sized enterprises (between 50 and 249 persons).
These figures are taken from a report2 published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the EuropeanCommunities. A more complete picture of European enterprises, including a special feature on SMEs, can also be found in a new Eurostat publication, "Key figures on European Business 2006".»
Eurostat news release 133/2006 - 05 de Outubro de 2006
(Extracto do documento disponível em http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int)