Cyprus was at the bottom of the EU list with countries hosting so-called high-growth enterprises in 2014, according to Eurostat. Only 70 such companies existed in Cyprus, a share of 2.2% in the local market, employing just 4,897 people, or 3.6% of the work force.
In 2014, around 145,000 companies, or almost a tenth (9.2%) of all active enterprises with at least ten employees in the business economy in the European Union (EU) were recognized as high-growth enterprises, providing work for over 12 million employees.
These firms have been distinguished using the following criteria: average annualized growth in number of employees greater than 10% per year over a three-year period and at least 10 employees at the beginning of the growth.
High-growth enterprises play an important role in contributing to economic growth and the creation of jobs. Looking at a breakdown by economic activity, high-growth enterprises in the EU were more predominant in the service sectors than in the rest of the business economy in 2014.
The highest proportion was found in the “Information and communication“ sector (15.0% of active enterprises in this sector), followed by “Administrative and support service activities” (12.7%), “Transportation and storage” and “Professional, scientific and technical activities” (both 11.0%).
In 2014, considerable variations were observed across EU Member States in the distribution of high-growth enterprises, with shares ranging from more than 12% in Malta (13.7%), the United Kingdom (12.9%), Latvia (12.8%), Ireland (12.6%), Sweden (12.3%) and Hungary (12.1%), to less than 3% in Romania (2.3%) and Cyprus (2.2%).
High-growing enterprises have a noteworthy impact on employment. In 2014, the highest contributions of high growth enterprises to the total number of employees were recorded in the United Kingdom (19.3%), Ireland (19.1%), Bulgaria (18.0%), Hungary (17.9%), Malta (17.5%) and Latvia (17.4%).
In contrast, the lowest share was registered in Cyprus (3.6%), followed at a distance by Romania (6.7%) and Slovenia (8.2%).