Belarus along with Poland and Serbia has the highest number of hidden champions in Central and Eastern Europe, according to the survey conducted in assistance with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD).
The term hidden champions was coined in 1990 to refer to highly innovative small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies leading internationally in their niches or on their continent.
A hidden champion is a small or medium-sized company with revenue not exceeding one billion US dollars and a five year period of operation. They tend not to be well known or known at all.
Out of the 22 countries analysed in 2018, the greatest number of hidden champions was unearthed in Poland (11), followed by Belarus (10), Serbia (10) and Slovenia (10).
Out of the spotlight, multibillion-dollar businesses are dominating niche markets.
The biggest number of potential hidden champions (in operation for less than 5 years) was found in Albania (four), followed by Estonia (four) and Moldova (four).
Serbia and Lithuania boasted the largest number of new potential hidden champions (seven each), followed by Latvia and Poland (six).
The most important sectors in the central and eastern Europe resulted to be manufacturing (69), information and communication (20) and professional, scientific and technical activities (6).
The full Hidden Champions report by International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies (CEEMAN) and the IEDC-Bled School of Management Postgraduate Studies.