Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Standards help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to increase productivity
and reach wider markets

CEN, the European Committee for Standardization and CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization,
provide information, tools and support to explain the benefits of standards, how to use them and how to participate in the process
of developing standards.

Standards and your business

Recognising the vital role of SMEs in the European economy, CEN, CENELEC and our members are committed to help you understand the benefits of standards for your business.

Benefits of using standards

Standards help SMEs in various ways: by promoting profitability and sustainable growth, and help boost productivity, driving down costs, and effectively meeting legal responsibilities. 

Differentiate your business thanks to standards!

The ability to demonstrate compliance with widely recognized and respected standards is an effective means to differentiate your business in a competitive marketplace.


In addition, manufacturing products or supplying services to appropriate standards can maximize compatibility with those manufactured or offered by others, thereby increasing potential sales and acceptance.


As consumers become increasingly informed about their choices, conformity to recognized standards is an important marketing tool for business.


Standards can help you address key elements to elevate your brand:

  • Quality - achieve professional operations and deliver high quality products & services
  • Sustainability - manage environmental, social and economic impacts
  • Competitive edge – reduce costs, increase efficiency & boost profitability
  • Health and safety - protect people against risks
  • Innovation - ensure compatibility, comparability & interoperability
  • Trusted services – build trust and enhance customer service and satisfaction
  • Compliance – ensure fulfilment of the requirements of relevant legislation
  • Business continuity - ensure availability of critical business functions

Join us on LinkedIn!

Join us on the dedicated SMEs & Standards group to stay informed of the latest updates 


Benefits of participating in standardization

Get involved! A European standard is shaped by those who contribute to its development. This is why your input can make the difference when drafting a standard.


Moreover, participating in the development of standards enables you to network and gather information, and gives you decisive advantages in developing competitive and innovative products that meet your customers’ needs.


To name a few, participating in standard-making processes provides you with:

  • Knowledge & Time - if you participate in the making-process of standards, you get an early access to their content and gain time for your business application.
  • Influence - participating in standardization gives you the opportunity to influence on the content and quality of standards (national, European, and international) in the interests of your company.
  • Regulatory understanding – when you participate in standardization, you also get information on the legislative framework.

There are several ways you can get involved in the standardization process, at national, European and International level. For example, the participation of SMEs in European standardization is supported by a dedicated European association, whose role is acknowledged by the EU Regulation 1025/2012 on European Standardization: Small Business Standards (SBS).


Learn more about how to get involved here

What is a Standard ? 

Standards are all around us, even if we are not always aware of them. One example of a widely-used standard is the A4 size for sheets of paper.


A standard is a document that sets out requirements for a specific item, material, component, system or service, or describes in detail a particular method or procedure.


They facilitate international trade by ensuring compatibility and interoperability of components, products and services. They bring benefits to businesses and consumers in terms of reducing costs, enhancing performance and improving safety. For more information, check out this page.


To help you find the right standards for your business, check out this dedicated page Finding the right standards


You can obtain published standards from the CEN and CENELEC European network of national members. These local standards organizations can also provide you with a range of tailored services e.g. advice to take advantage of the benefits of standards, support to use standards, etc.

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