SMEs in the Benelux - statistics & facts

Small and medium enterprises are an important part of the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourgish economies. When looking at the number of SMEs compared to other business types in the Netherlands, the mkb (the Dutch abbreviation for SMEs) equaled around 440,000 companies, compared to more than one million self-employed people in 2020. In Belgium, kmo (the Belgian Dutch abbreviation) and PME (the French abbreviation) were responsible for over half of all employment in 2019, based on a comparison from social security figures in Belgium. Two years earlier, in 2017, the contribution of Belgian SMEs to the country’s employment was higher than in some European countries, such as France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

SMEs: a fine addition?

How much value do these small business enterprises add to GDP in the Benelux? In all three countries, SMEs generated over half of total value added. The share of Luxembourgish SMEs in total value in the country was higher than that from SMEs in Belgium and the Netherlands, with medium-sized companies from the Grand Duchy (companies which have between 50 to 249 employees) being responsible for around 25 percent of all total value added in the non-financial business economy. This was different in the two other Benelux-countries. The impact of different Belgian SME types on total value added was highest among micro-companies (companies with between one and nine employees), whereas small-sized companies (between 10 and 49 employees) in the Netherlands had a smaller impact on total value added than other SMEs in the country.

Small and medium enterprises, at your service

Which Benelux countries have the most SMEs? In both the Netherlands and Belgium, services was the industry where these companies were most prevalent. Over 84,000 of all SMEs in Wallonia (Belgium’s French-speaking region) were active in services in 2017, a figure more than twice the amount of SMEs active in construction. The most common SME sectors in the Netherlands were retail and specialized business services, together making up around 600,000 companies in 2019.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 38 most important statistics relating to "SMEs in the Benelux ".

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Benelux

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Important key figures

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