CSR in SMEs- The power of the little

When you start a small business you are looking for it to become known and successful. The success comes with different hidden issues.

I come from a country in which small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reflect 49% of the GDP of the country, in a country that is growing from the last 20 years. It is a country where innovation and consumption are essential part of the industry.

Such rapid growth cannot become sustainable or socially responsible if it is not for everyone and working together. Being such a large country, the social and economic gaps are widening, becoming almost impossible to develop isolated communities. That’s when small and medium enterprises play an important role.

” Our model is recognized worldwide. Our commitment is to contribute to build healthier and inclusive cities. “

Albina Ruiz, founder and CEO of Ciudad Saludable.

photo: Albina Ruiz, founder and CEO of Ciudad Saludable.

Business ideas come from entrepreneurs who know what is the need and how can it be meet , there is when an SME is born . They are innovative enterprises because they know their market and especially the culture and customs. Having a small number of workers is advantageous for them because decisions can be made in a very fast and efficient way, achieving dramatic results and rapid growth.

Implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a core strategy is to integrate voluntarily in terms of resources and values ​​of the company ‘s concern for social and environmental issues and apply across the value chain and its interactions with all stakeholders ( suppliers, customers, employees, the community, shareholders, environment.)

Being a good member of the community impact positively but not enough to make actions from time to time , it is included in the strategy a responsible attitude in order to be competitive in the long term. SMEs are the largest contributor to employment and the economy.

photo: andina.com.pe/ Peru moda 2014

The fact that the message is efficient not only depends on the creativity of sustainability reports. Is, among other variables, about attitude and starts at the office.

Those who run the company should start with the good example and never forget the values ​​with which they started. This way you can reach a high employee engagement, an excellent working environment and a highly effective communication between all.

What counts in a small or medium business is innovation among its range of products, the flexibility to make decisions by being fully horizontal company and above all is the opportunity to grow together for something better.

Entrepreneurs should know that being sustainable is not to spend money, is invest it in something that will lead them to savings in the long term and an infinite loyalty to their stakeholders. It should start with the right foot to stay on the right path. (See bellow some examples of how you can sustainability help your company).

Green Profits for SMEs

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To conclude my idea I want to emphasize that SMEs can make the change that is needed, I think we should put them as an example in many of the actions they take. Not just a powerful company can make a change,  is the person behind the company that can do it. If one is confident that the values ​​and actions taken in the company are correct then there begins the change.

Working with the world is to work for the world, let’s do it!







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Many times we see people who think differently as “black sheep”. Someone who does not follow the rules, but do the same but otherwise is  the “black sheep” of the group. But think carefully about something, being the black sheep could be a good thing?

Why these individuals do that? What drives them to take such decisions which affect actions? What makes them so different?

They are individuals who have born to make the change. They see a need and want to solve in a way that only they understand. They have such passion coursing through their veins that they spread it to many people and achieve to follow them. They come up with innovate solutions to society’s most pressing social problems  and mark the start of that idea from dream to reality. They are not afraid to make decisions to follow their dream. They are fearless of  leaving everything to fight for what they love. Those people are the social entrepreneurs.

“My dream is to find individuals who take financial resources and convert them into changing the world in the most positive ways.”

Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder of Acumen Fund.

They do not just sit there waiting for things to happen, they act. They realize that many before we live in a society with people who talk to people, people who laugh with people, people suffering with people, people who depend on people. They seek a new way to solve a social problem .They  see opportunities in crisis. Solutions in problems.

They are driven by this passion for the impossible and love to the world.

What is it that they want to achieve? A better world for all of us.

Now I ask you  a question,  are social entrepreneurs  important to society?


To answer that question I will leave you with a personal thinking : Without people behind the ideas, the ideas are nothing.







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When I first thought about what I was going to write the first thing that came to my mind when seeing the word rural development was farmers (I’m sure that the same thing happened to many of you). Then I started to go deeply into the subject. I asked myself a question, is it  possible for  farmers, the ones who give us the food we daily have on our tables, to be poor and not have enough to live on?

Please, watch the video below to understand the gravity of the problem:

Food Waste – A Story of Excess

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Investigating a little more I noticed with surprise that the amount of food that is thrown away in the process of agriculture is gigantic. Why are the reasons behind this? Some “standards” of quality that have established the supermarkets and countries.

For 70% of the world’s poor living in rural areas, agriculture is the main source of income and employment. (http://datos.bancomundial.org/tema/agricultura-y-desarrollo-rural)

When we talk about poverty we talk about lack of energy for cooking, heating food, heating  the home and lack of electricity. Not having electricity means less chance of development. Food waste being a fact, what can we do? Something very simple as BIOGAS.

Biogas: how it works

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Methane Biodigester

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After watching the videos that explain very well how can we  produce biogas in a very simple way, the amount of biogas emitted in the process will be used to power an engine generator that will produce electricity that can be used to consumption. Also, the waste heat of the engine can be for heating .

With electricity children can study , can go to school and become literate . With biogas we can cook and heat food without damaging your health or the environment . It can be used as biofuel and also another great benefit is that waste can also get compost and bio fertilizer that helps the quality of agricultural land.

Thus we see that not only telling the farmers what they need to do is the key , the important part of this type of projects is working with them. The idea is to achieve capacity building , community engagement and empowerment. We need to stablish such a strong engagement that they will be able to hold it in a sustainable way and keep learning but also teaching .

And YES, all of this out of food waste.

Now I ask you a question , do you believe that food waste can help rural development ? The answer is here:


BIOTECH, India, Turning food waste into biogas – Ashden Award winner

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Biogas Documentary by Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme

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(photo: Elministerio.org.mx)

“When the last tree is cut, when the last river has been poisoned, when the last fish has been caught, then we will find out that we cannot eat money”

– Anonymous proverb

After more than 13 years of search and trace of the formosan clouded leopard, Taiwan and U.S zoologists, declare it almost impossible to exist.

“There are too few opportunities clouded leopards still exist in Taiwan. Maybe there are some out there, but not enough to continue the species, “ said zoologist Chian Po-jen to the Central News Agency of Taiwan.

There is always a reason behind every story, I am going to explain to you in simple words the two principal reasons and also I will show you some example of the common use of the specie.

The Rukai, Taiwanese aborigines, considered the hunting of clouded leopards a taboo; therefore, one of the main reasons that caused  the extinction was the incredible amount of illegal hunting for its teeth and decorative pelt, and for bones for the traditional Asian medicinal trade. (Nowell 2007)

The other main reason is the habitat loss and defragmentation. Deforestation in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia is the most serious threat to the clouded leopard. The species natural habitat has been fragmented and decreasing at a rate of 10% per year since 1997. (source: FAO 2007)

Taiwanese Aborigine leopard fur-by Torii

As every depletion of a specie, their extinction represents a sad setback to the incredible biodiversity and vitality of Planet Earth. The variety, quantity, quality and distribution of biodiversity is being damage. When one member of the biodiversity is depleated, all the ecosystems become less resilient, in this particular case, the recovery of the lost is inexistent.

It is very important that we start to get more and more aware of the importance of the biodiversity and the posible impact in every ecosystem. Below you can see where the few remaining clouded leopards live:



Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia); Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam

Regionally extinct:

Taiwan, Province of China (source: iucnredlist.org)

I hope that in a few years from now this list does not change for bad, I expect not to see an increase in “regionally extinct” section.      It would be a real shame for the planet Earth.

Nowadays, we can only see this beautiful specie in videos and museums:

R.I.P the Formosan Clouded Leopard

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Please think before you do something you might regret. Preserve biodiversity as it should be.











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“Man is his own star; and the soul that can

Render an honest and a perfect man,

Commands all light, all influence, all fate;

Nothing to him falls early or too late.

Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,

Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”

Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher‘s Honest Man’s Fortune

I wanted to start this post by explaining to you why did I choose to put self-reliance and, in fact, tell you more what is self-reliance and where did this philosophy came from.

Long time ago, a philosopher called Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Self-Reliance”, a compilation of many years. He said, as one of many things, that the mind is initially subject to an unhappy conformism. He highlighted the effect that society has upon the individual and  that when people are influenced by society, they will compromise their values in order to retain a foolish character to the world. He had a  famous catch-phrase “Trust thyself”. This argument follows three major points: the self-contained genius, the disapproval of the world, and the value of self-worth.

“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To follow Emerson’s self-reliant philosophy, one must learn to hear and obey what is most true within their heart, and both think and act independent of popular opinion and social pressure.

Now, maybe you are all wondering, how is this philosophy can be related to permaculture, and, indeed, what is permaculture?

Permaculture is always defined as a design system for sustainable living, but it is much more than that. It is not just about the elements that form any particular system; it is about the flow between those elements. A project only can prove to become a permaculture when special attention is paid to the relationships between each element, between the people who work within the system and between the functions of those elements.

“Permaculture is a way of arranging your life to be happy and abundant. You can meet your own needs without making anyone else’s life less pleasant. Human habitats can be made highly productive with much less work than is taken to make them destructive under present systems. By making conscious decisions in designing our lives we can manage our resources well, reducing wastage.”

Graham Bell

It is all about maximizing the quality of life and health for everyone through smart design focused on maximizing sustainable yields.

“We have in hand excellent means to do in 10 years more than could be done in several centuries without them, if we apply ourselves to making the most of them, and do nothing else except what must be done.”

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646)

By thinking carefully about the way we use our resources – material and non-material needs – it is possible to get much by using less. We can be more productive for less effort, harvesting benefits for our environment and ourselves, for now and for generations to come.

This is the essence of permaculture – the design of a way of living – in our households, gardens, communities and businesses. It is created by cooperating with nature and caring for the earth and its people.

Some ideas for living off a permaculture farm:
Flower essences, essential oils, tree resins, coffee, dried fruit, nuts, raw fruit-nut sports bars, aloe gel and products, natural fertilizers, new technology inventions, art/craft, building materials, bamboo wood, honey, bee products, cosmetics, fibers, papers, fabrics, fuels and much more.

Permaculture encourages us to be resourceful and self-reliant. It tackles how to grow food, build houses and create communities, and minimise environmental impact at the same time.

As I said before, this kind of design can help us not only to change our own life but also to try to save the world that we are going to leave our successors. I will finish this words  with this thought from one of my favorite people that ever pass in the face of earth:

” You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew”

Albert Einstein

If you are more interested in permaculture, I encourage you to watch this couple of videos that I know you will love:

Redesigning Civilization — with Permaculture

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How Permaculture can save humanity and the Earth, but not Civilization- Toby Hemenway

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Permaculture- A quiet Revolution



  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Reliance
  2. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Essays:_First_Series/Self-Reliance
  3. http://www.permacultureindia.com/natural-resource-management/
  4. http://www.regenerative.com/
  5. https://socialsciences.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/D16WhyBotherWPermcul.html
  6. http://forums.permaculturenews.org/showthread.php?3995-Is-permaculture-ECONOMICALLY-sustainable/page2
  7. http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/index/
  8. http://www.permacultureactivist.net/
  9. http://www.permacultureglobal.com/
  10. http://afristarfoundation.org/permaculture/




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When I started my professional carrier I did not have a clear path to follow. My first jobs were in different areas of companies, always companies. Year after year I started to feel less motivated. I liked my job, liked what I was doing, the leader that I was becoming but, something was missing.

One day I discovered this sudden passion for the environment, for the amazing landscapes that mother earth gave us. So I started travelling inside my country. In every place that I visited the realities were completely different. The ‘locals’ treated me as family, with such an incredible welcome and a great heart. Some of the local communities did not have basic needs or even worst, they worked the hole day in agriculture for a price that was not fair.

My passion was getting bigger and bigger, I was worried about the amazing human beings that I managed to know from different places of the same country, and also worried about the environment and its growing pollution. I started wondering, how can a country be so different, so unequal and at the same time with breathtaking landscapes and greater amounts of natural resources.

I grew up in the capital, in a really polluted one. By that time I saw a lot of issues that we had to handle and I wanted to put my little granite of sand to contribute in reducing the pollution. So I created a small company of recyclables bicycles. The main idea of the company was to educate the citizens on air pollution and simultaneously to let them know that bicycles are a way of viable and good  transport for the health. I reused the old frames of old bicycles (vintage) in order to reduce the made of raw material, so, less impact. Because I was still working in the company, I could not be able to handle the situation so I had to put it in a standby situation.

Learning more and more about how to struggle with pollution I realized that I could not stayed sitting behind a desk looking how the environment was being destroy by human beings. You cannot think on how to help without seeing it up close. I quit my job and moved to the Amazon. The Amazon has the 33% of the lung of the planet, so I was really worry. When I was there everything came into my mind. Because I am lucky to have this engineering background I could think in how to struggle with the main issue, the river and air pollution. All this technological part of processes came to my mind, the high tech that we have and how to use it in a low tech zone to help social innovation, social inclusion, sustainability and reduction of pollution. I came up with an idea, instead of reducing the use of raw material, why not reusing and recycling the necessary evil that is waste, while teaching how?


So that is how I started this new challenge, all united to preserve the Amazon.        During my research I found out that the local communities use the water of the river not only to “take a shower”, but also to cook their food and to drink it.  The main idea is to tackle for social development and enhance their lifestyle by teaching them how can waste be useful for them out of the river. So there are three main projects that converts waste into something else more useful to achieve sustainability.

How can a human being live like this?

The main idea is not to give them the fish, is to teach them how to fish.














photo: Gabriela Pella      place: Rio Nanay, Iquitos, Peru         -2013

As a resume, social innovation, social development, social inclusion and of course, environmental care are the main topics that this new challenge has to deal with.

By not polluting the river, reducing air pollution and give the ‘locals’ a better quality of life, we are going to be able to fight for a better future in the Amazon.

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When a chef adds development to the recipe

In the following lines I will talk about two main subjects related to the city I come from. It is really significant to me that you can understand the important role that is playing one only human being due to his willing to change the whole mindset of a country highlighting the merge under one simple activity: gastronomy.

Lima, Peru’s capital city, has registered explosive and unorganized growth over the past several decades, especially in the peripheries. Even though there is mounting evidence of a need for one, Lima still does not have a Metropolitan Urban Plan to define issues of zoning, communication, and areas of expansion, among others.

“Urban development plans for approximately 80 percent of the districts of Lima are inconsistent tools, and were prepared by bureaucrats without updated registries. Development plan does not guarantee harmonious and sustained growth in the city if the municipalities work politically rather than technically.”

Former official of the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima.

We have to take into consideration that an urban plan is a fundamental piece of the puzzle that provides us the possibility to define zones that will be occupied in the future, and zones that will be protected from external nor internal disasters. It is worth mentioning that, in Lima alone, the housing shortage is approximately half a million homes with more than 9.5 million of inhabitants.

If we start thinking about all the facts; no plan, a lot of people in the city that is growing really fast, luck of communication, can you even imagine how unequal (socio-economic and density) could this city be?

“The mirror has two faces” –same city- different realities. (Photo at left: Miraflores district Photo at right: slum in the suburbs.)

Bringing that to the table, I can take for granted that you are now imagining that Lima does not have an effective transport system (different types of transportation, order, good and wide roads, etc.), well, you were exactly right. *

1)Traffic jams. 2) One way of public transportation, the Metropolitano. 3) Exit way from one of the Metropolitano’s stop.

The transportation system is a chaos and the urban plan does not exist, it is in the future plans. The amount of cars is growing really fast but the roads are not made for that. In the meantime we had to deal with problems of inequality, luck of fare trade, luck of social inclusion and social development around the country. Looking at all of this, a chef named Gastón Acurio came up with an idea: “to use the rich gastronomy of Peru as a unifying agent”.

It is clear that Gastón could not carry this project alone and, therefore, has accomplished something that no Peruvian leader has been before: to unite the country. A Peru full of social, ideological and generational differences found in its food line connecting the mother to all, and has led the resurgent Peruvian pride to levels unimaginable a few decades ago when they did not take into account the richness of Peruvian popular kitchen.

After he started opening restaurants and earning some reputation, he built an idea that could integrate not only all the different zones of Lima but also all the different zones of the country: a gastronomy fair “Mistura”.

According to the “Economic and Social Dimensions Contribution of Gastronomy in Peru”, developed by Arellano Marketing consultant for the Peruvian Society of Gastronomy (Apega), the gastronomy creates a value chain that would produce more than S /. 40,000 million ($16,400 million), which would be 11.2% of GDP projected. This year the gastronomy will provide as much or more than mining, becoming a new engine of development of the country, and dragging other industries, “such as food transport, tourism, pots and utensils factories, mills chairs, tables, tablecloths, steel and wood “industries. The study shows that the gastronomy directly and indirectly involves five million people, 20% of the economically active population (EAP).

1 The Costa Verde before the fair. 2 The Costa Verde during the fair, after the installation. 3 Transportation just that take you to the fair

This year was the sixth consecutive year of Mistura and received more than 350,000 people from a 10 day fair. The fair showcases the culinary boom and economic development of Peru, since over 11% of GDP is based on culinary activities.

Mistura is also showcase for restaurants, stalls and producers. Furthermore, places like El Gran Mercado centers are ideal for trade relations. Obviously having been part of the fair is a great promotional certificate for all participants.

Gastón presented a new initiative called “Salsa” which “aims to unite Latin American cooks and share experiences and knowledge.” Cooks and chefs from Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Caracas, México City, Santiago, and Sao Paulo will all be involved in this movement that will start a dialogue to connect cooks with agriculture producers. International colleagues of Gaston, such as the Spanish chef, Ferran Adrià, have expressed support for the initiative and both spoke at the UN precisely the arguments that can make the kitchen a weapon against social exclusion, and not only in Latin America.

As a resume, we can say that putting another card on the table can begin to change things. What brings us the culinary boom is not only socio-economic development but also infrastructure, roads, tracks, capacity-building, a need to have a plan and others.  We must be prepared for what lies ahead in the coming years based on the boom that has been Mistura and all culinary event in the country and especially the lead up the good instead of being hailed as “The best Latin-American kitchen and one of the best in the world.”

Mistura – The Power of Food – Peru (HD)


I guess, you can change something indirectly, just need to have a clear path to aim the goal.

*For more insight feeling of how is the traffic in Lima I recommend you to look the documental that made Discovery Channel called “Don’t Drive Here“.



http://www.lavanguardia.com/lectores-corresponsales /20091005/53799179533/mistura-la-fiesta-de-la-cocina-peruana.html#ixzz2nIHTTTIu




“GASTRONOMIA, DESARROLLO E IDENTIDAD CULTURAL” El caso peruano, Mariano Valderrama León



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The bitter taste that left us the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Warsaw, kept us all asking ourselves if we will be able to achieve the objectives of 2015 or if we will ever get to achieve them.

As the Kyoto protocol says, there are three different mechanisms to place climate change and greenhouse effects:

  1. International Emissions Trading
  2. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
  3. Joint Implementation (JI)

All of this mechanisms are ruled by the cost-effective way. Is it really working?

"The tremendous damage"

What about taking a risk, widen the horizons and try with the multi-criteria analysis? We have being struggling for years with the climate change, we know that all the countries have to take part of this decision, doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, big or small, they count.

“It is not possible to solve climate change with one meeting, with one COP, with one negotiation. It is imperative that every single one of this climate talkers, which I want to hear, gives a very firm step forward in the right direction…” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

There were some mechanisms that pop out in the conference like the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. Is better to prevent that lo lament. In a few words, we cannot stay waiting for the disaster to come, we have to be prepare.

“We have seen essential progress. But let us again be clear that we are witnessing ever more frequent, extreme weather events, and the poor and vulnerable are already paying the price,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

We all know that preventing disasters costs in monetary costs and in human costs much less. So why don’t we all think together as a same world? Why don’t we come up with different ideas that can be applicable to all different countries?

We can highlight a very interesting way of finding funds, like The Adaptation Fund. It offers an inspiring example of efficient and entrepreneurial approaches to climate adaptation. It has pioneered an innovative and agile model for climate finance. The Adaptation Fund’s robust and fully‐developed direct access mechanism enables national entities to directly access funds and manage the design and implementation of adaptation projects in their countries. Donors are assured that their funds are spent appropriately, as the Adaptation Fund finances every project in tranches, each one released only when the spending of the previous monies has been accounted for.

Among the inspiring initial results of   the Adaptation Fund’s activities is the mainstreaming of climate policies   it has catalyzed in many countries.

So as we could see, the ultimate objective is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

“A groundswell of action is happening at all levels of society. All major players came to COP19 to show not only what they have done but to think what more they can do. Next year is also the time for them to turn ideas into further concrete action,” Ms. Figueres said.

Let’s all gather and work together as one world to reduce the GHG in order to fight against the natural disasters, only by changing little daily things. Climate change is not a myth, it is a reality.


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¡Hola mundo!

Te damos la bienvenida a Blogs EOI. Este es tu primer artículo. Edítalo o bórralo… ¡y comienza a publicar!

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