Some of the most innovative and inspiring examples of corporate social responsibility practice are to be found amongst SMEs. This was one outcome of a conference on corporate social responsibility.
The final conference of a pan-European awareness campaign on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) took place in Brussels on 14 June 2005. The campaign, launched by the Commission, consisted of 65 events organised by the national UEAPME and EUROCHAMBERS members since October 2004.
“There is clearly more awareness-raising and more persuading to be done. Many SMEs are still not aware of the costs or the time required and find the concept of CSR complex,” said the Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen. But “CSR can help EU to achieve the goals of our new Growth and Jobs strategy by helping companies to become more competitive and by binding the strategy into our overall objective of sustainable development,” he added.
The Commission has recently published a call for proposals for funding proposals for projects to further promote CSR amongst SMEs. The Commission is also currently establishing a group of national experts to exchange good practice on this issue.