Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) have been urged not to see Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a preserve of big businesses and corporations.
CSR, referred to as corporate-citizenship, is a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates.
It can involves incurring short-term costs that do not provide an immediate financial benefit to the company but promote positive social and environmental change.
“There’s an acknowledgement of the employees and customers that you have and what kinds of things both customers and employees value and then trying to meet these requirements. It could be in terms of the working hours that you have, the flexibility- the fact that workers can take a leave to the village, or provide a loan for an employee to pay school fees,” he said.
According to CSR Expert, Soren Jeppesen, not only corporate entities but SMEs also stand to benefit from CSRs.
This is against the backdrop that CSRs have traditionally been seen as something for big businesses and corporations rather than SMEs especially local ones that hardly engage in them.
This could somewhat be attributed to the description “Corporate Social Responsibility” which appears to suggest something for corporate entities than SMEs.
But CSR Expert, Soren Jeppesen insists it’s crucial for SMEs to practice CSR’s despite almost always lamenting their high cost of operations.
“It could be from the customers’ point of view, for the product, to ensure that you are not using acid paint or some elements that would be poisonous to their health. I think those are some things that owners of SMEs could do” he added.
He explained this to Joy Business at a Development Policy and Practice Talk organised by the Development Policy Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Ghana.
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