CSR in SMEs: Lessons Learned

Hello all!! 🙂

It’s been a while since I posted here. To give you a quick update, our Masters programme has advanced into the CSR module and we are seeing how it links back to sustainability. We have been studying and analyzing the CSR/Sustainability reports of several multinational corporations, learning how to engage stakeholders, looking at international labour rights and supplier codes of conduct, working together on constructing a materiality matrix, and debating on whether or not certain companies have truly integrated CSR into their business models.

Recently, we completed a course on CSR in SMEs with Daniel Truran who is Director General of the ebbf and some of the lessons we learned were:

  1. SMEs are able to cater to customers more efficiently due to their small size and less bureaucratic form of governance. They also seem to have more potential to become innovative due to the limitations experienced with regard to lack of resources and staff. Together, SMEs can make a big difference in the world.
  2. Establishing the “Love Brand” is all about engaging with stakeholders in a way that keeps them loyal to the company brand. Whether there is a phase of economic downturn or the arrival of a new and appealing competitor, the true love for the brand is what makes people trust that the company will continue to produce quality products for its beloved consumers.
  3. Leadership is important in an SME that wishes to be sustainable and successful in the long-term. It requires a leader who is able to lead by example and who not only applies principles of CSR to external stakeholders but to its internal stakeholders as well. One of its most valuable assets are its employees, and thus an SME should be able to motivate and inspire its ground staff, executives, and managers, in a way that would enable them to feel engaged and truly a part of the company. To gain this type of loyalty and to make sure that it is sincere, the company needs to inform and educate employees, and find out if they really share the goals and aspirations behind the company’s values and principles.

In class, we also looked at how some SMEs managed to survive economic crises and how the workplace can be constructed to cater to the needs of employees, which made a difference in talent retention and levels of productivity.

Source: Daniel Truran

All in all, I enjoyed our interactive course and it was a great pleasure to have Daniel join us afterwards for the IMSD international lunch! May our paths cross again! 😀


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CSR in SMEs: Lessons Learned

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