This report presents a comprehensive picture of the contribution of small enterprises in Ireland. The report contains data on the contribution of small businesses in industry, services and construction, as well as statistics on the labor, the knowledge-based economy and workforce. It also includes international comparisons. In the report, a small business is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 50 people. Statistics on medium (50-249 persons) and large enterprises (250 or more people) are included for comparison. Highlights of the report are: Industry: Production and employment dominated by medium and large enterprises * In 2005, four of the five industrial companies (81%) were small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. This company employs 50,000 people, slightly more than one fifth of total industrial employment. * The larger companies (50 or more persons) employed 181,100 people in 2005 and generated 93% of the total turnover in the industry. * The vast majority of small industrial firms were Irish owned (95%). Nearly 42% of larger companies are foreign-owned. Services: More than 380,000 employees of small businesses in the service sector * In the service sector, almost all companies (98%) were small. There were 82,100 small businesses, employing over 380,000 people in the service sector in 2005. That was more than half of total employment in this sector. * Small businesses account for nearly half (49%) of total turnover in the services sector, and generates a turnover of nearly ? 81.6bn in 2005. * Nearly half of small businesses in the service sector are the property of the family (47%). The vast majority of these family businesses employed fewer than 10 people. Construction: Small businesses occupied two thirds of all people who work in construction * According to the Quarterly National Household Survey, there were 253,200 employed in construction in the fourth quarter of 2005. Of these, 211,000 have indicated that they worked in small businesses (fewer than 50 employees), while 24,500 have indicated that they worked in large enterprises (50 or more employees). A further 17,600 not specify the number of employees to their jobs. * Among the 253,200 people employed in the construction industry, more than 65% worked for very small concerns employing less tha ten people. Salaries and wages: 54% of private sector employees in small firms earned between ? 10 – ? 20 per hour in 2006 * The average hourly wage in small businesses were ? 15.22 in 2006 compared to ? 19.38 in companies with 50 or more workers in 2006. * The average annual salary for employees in a small business amounted to ? 32,453 in 2006. The average wage in large enterprises was ? 44,794 per year. Knowledge-based economy: the larger companies have shown higher levels of e-government activities * Small businesses generally not more modern information and communication technology than larger companies. * Almost all companies with 10 or more employees were connected to the Internet that two-thirds of businesses with fewer than 10 employees to use the Internet. Size of work: almost 56% of employment in small workplaces * In all areas, 56% of jobs in workplaces where fewer than 50 persons were employed in the second quarter of 2007. A total of 1175800 people worked in small workplaces. Of these, 839,300 were employees, 216,600 are self-employed and 107,900 are self-employed with employees. These figures include agriculture and the public sector and the economy. * Among the 316,300 non-Irish nationals in employment in the second quarter of 2007, less than half (47%) worked in small workplaces. EU comparison, the value added in small construction firms in Ireland was three times the EU average in 2005 * Almost three-quarters of production in Ireland turnover was generated by large companies, while the EU average was 60%. * In 2005, Ireland is recorded but the gross value added per employee of ? 51,600 in the distribution of services. The EU average was ? 33,000 per employee. * The gross value added per employee in the construction industry in Ireland was significantly higher than the EU average for all types of employment dimension.