Fact 6: The strongholds of German SMEs

Southern Germany boasts an exceptional number of "hidden champions". This means companies which rank among the top three on the global market or are European leaders. The "hidden" epithet stems from the fact that these companies are little known to the public, because instead of producing well-known everyday goods, they supply mainly specialised products and services to industry. It is estimated that Germany has some 1,300 hidden champions. Most of the global market leaders can be found in Germany’s south-west. Surprisingly, many of these companies are based outside major conurbations, as the regional world market leadership rankings show.

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Cologne Institute for Economic Research
Information on Hidden Champions (German)

Federal Statistical Office (pdf)
A review of the economic importance of small and medium-sized companies (German)

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