Download: The business case for social responsibility in small and medium-sized enterprises
Published on CS Europe.org, 13 pages.
Developed with the support of the European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs Directorate.
Social Responsibility (SR) can help any business to succeed. It can build sales, develop the workforce, boost enthusiasm and innovation, enhance trust in an enterprise and increase a company’s reputation and standing. Pursuing responsible business practices makes companies more competitive.
Winning businesses of the 21st century will not only add value for their owners; they will add value to the rest of society. They will not just avoid unacceptable behaviour, but will aim to maximise the positive impact they can have on all of their
The challenge of this business case is to stimulate thinking among smaller businesses as to what constitutes responsible business and above all demonstrate its effect on performance, the bottom line and the vitality of a company as a whole.
The social responsibility debate is relatively new. But it is very important to small and medium sized enterprises. SMEs are ideally placed to pursue responsible business practice. For so many, social responsibility is just a new way to describe something they do already: investing in broader social values whose benefits go beyond profit. In this context, SR does not aim to ‘reinvent the wheel’. It is about building on existing good practice, maximising its impact and raising awareness among important internal and external audiences in a way that will help companies to become more competitive.
Half of European SMEs are involved to different degrees in external socially responsible causes. The degree of involvement tends to reflect the size of the enterprise, ranging from 48% amongst the very small enterprises to 65% and 70% amongst the small and medium sized enterprises respectively (EU Survey). (full text).