Intermediate-sized enterprises employ between 250 and 5,000 people. Those that have successfully entered the international market with a positioning on premium products and services are referred to as “hidden champions.” France boasts approximately 300 of these hidden champions which, combined with SMEs (fewer than 250 employees), form one of the cornerstones of the economy. According to INSEE, France’s national statistics bureau, this category includes 5,400 companies that employ around three million people and generate revenue equivalent to 30 percent of total revenue generated by French companies.
Intermediate-sized enterprises play a major role as providers of jobs. They are very attractive to managers and senior executives, to whom they offer long-term opportunities for growth on international markets with high-quality products. Their company culture is similar to that of the SMEs from which they derive, and they have a strong geographic presence in the French provinces.