Study to map, measure and portray the EU mid-cap landscape

November 21, 2022
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Middle-sized enterprises (or mid-caps) are those enterprises with at least 250, but less than 1,500 employees. We estimate that they account for more than 13% of overall employment in the European business sector, and around 20% of all employees in the Nordic countries, Luxembourg, Germany, and Austria, while their share on employment is 10% or less in Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, or Greece. Their share is particularly high in industrial ecosystems that are key to the European Union’s competitiveness: Electronics, Aerospace & Defence, Energy, Energy-intensive Industries and Health. Mid-caps most often are not start-ups, but established firms which have already survived the ‘up or out’-phase of early firm evolution. They grow faster than the average enterprise in most EU member states. Their innovation performance is above that of SMEs and slightly below that of large companies. Most of them are also active on markets outside the EU. Family ownership is frequently found among mid-cap firms, but a considerable number of them are also subsidiaries of foreign1- owned multinational companies. The growth of mid-cap firms may be hampered by different factors: most pressing are difficulties in finding employees, supply chain disruptions, regulation and administrative burden, or obstacles in the innovation process. Another challenge is succession in family-owned mid-caps. In addition, rising energy prices and other production inputs emerged as a major challenge for mid-caps in recent months.

Bernhard Dachs
Maria Yoveska
Fernanda Boeira
Sean Ivory

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European Commission

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November 21, 2022


© European Union, 2022

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