Introduction to the role of the UK Network for SMEs
Deb Leary, CEO, Forensic Pathways
Forensic Pathways is a member of the UK Network
“One of the roles of the UK Network is to enable participants to share and exchange practice and experience. Perhaps you are a company which is exporting for the first time or you are entering a new market. Ethical challenges you will face will doubtless include labour issues in relation to supply chain, the issue of ‘gifts’ and simply how to engage with your shareholders to promote your wish to implement CSR.
These are just some of the areas in which support is available to you. Obviously the implementation of such a policy is different for every company and naturally so between an SME and a large multi-national, however, the fundamental principles remain the same. Within the UK Global Compact Network it is acknowledged that the support for SMEs needs to be tailored to that community. The UK Network has therefore been proactive in developing an SME Working Group which focuses purely on the issues faced by SMEs in the implementation of CSR and also works hard to promote the value of CSR to the small business community.
Within the next few weeks additional material will be available on the website specifically focussing on the SME community. This is in addition to the work which is already ongoing to develop an Operational Guide for SMEs.
As a whole, the Global Compact is urging more SMEs to engage. The SME community is vibrant, ever growing and innovative. I believe it’s only real flaw is that it undersells itself, failing to realise the power it has to really impact on behaviours within the global business community. We may be SMEs now, but so once were the other large corporations.
It is essential that in building our businesses we do so in a way that reflects vibrant leadership with a commitment to building business communities that are supportive of its employees, the wider community and the environment, committing to the view that wealth goes beyond monetary value.”
Should you require any further information re implementing CSR or to discuss the issues faced by SMEs generally you may contact the following: