CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, has agreed to combine its efforts with its sister organization CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, in facilitating the access of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to standards work.
SMEs play a vital role in the European economy. Nearly 99 per cent of European companies are SMEs, employing almost 81 million people, providing 66 per cent of Europe's total employment. As a key actor in the European market, it is important that SMEs are aware of the benefit of standards for their business and the various ways to participate in the standardization process.
Why standardization for SMEs?
Standards are essential to SMEs. They make life easier and safer, they create a level playing field on which to compete,
they allow access to state-of-the-art technology, and they help the most effective allocation of resources in the toughest of times. But despite all
these benefits, it is clear that at the moment SMEs do not always benefit as much as they could from creating or using standards.
Standardization allows SMEs to increase productivity and reach wider markets. Initiatives for SMEs have been taken at national and European level to join the standardization process, but also to facilitate identification and use of the appropriate standard for their business. In 2006, a study initiated by the European Commission identified some 26 best practices already put in place by national members to support SMEs in 2009, CEN and CENELEC sponsored a study, which proposed 58 recommendations for improving SME access to standardization and to standards. The vast bulk of these recommendations also are of potential benefit to other stakeholders, of course.
To know more about the benefits for SMEs to participate in the standardization process, check our brochure "SMEs and Standards - Guide to the European Standardization process".
Get access to standards scopes (content summary of a standard)
When deciding on whether to obtain a particular standard, it can be helpful to first acquire some information as to
the full frame in which the standard is active and areas in which it can be applied. Before purchasing the standard in question,
this information can be found in the "scopes", which CENELEC has made available online.
CEN-CENELEC SME Helpdesk on standardization
An SME helpdesk is at the disposal of SMEs with national contact points to respond to their specific requests.