To a new inclusive world, one story at a time

Catherine Phan

International Development Manager, Blueyse

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a substantial role in the health and stability of the global economy. In Europe, 99% of all business are SMEs and they contribute to more than half of Europe’s GDP while employing over 100 million people.

However, when discussing topics of social change like sustainable development and diversity, equality and inclusion, oftentimes, SMEs are left out of the headlines. And this could be for many reasons. Maybe it is because there are too many SMEs to collectively take action, or SMEs feel like they don’t contribute to global emissions as much as larger companies so they do not see the urgency. It could be that people think they are too small of entities to contribute and make change. This notion is incorrect. Whether you are a large corporation with hundreds of employees and multiple locations or a microbusiness with just one or five employees, every organisation is capable of making positive change. We can even argue that it is exactly the smallest, quant and uniqueness of SMEs that make them the strongest and most influential contributors towards a more sustainable and inclusive society.

 

Sustainable innovations in tech

A well known example is innovative technology companies. These are the tech firms that are creating new innovative machines or devices that allow us to be more energy saving, sustainable and efficient. Each new invention creates a new possibility for more sustainable means of productions that reduces our carbon footprint. This could be through developing an invention that optimizes horticultural water through purification and filtration, or a cheaper way to generate energy through open space windows. So, how do other SME sectors, like service or hospitality contribute to creating an

inclusive and sustainable society? We at Blueyse, a growing international communications agency, do not contribute through a product or an invention, but rather through an action. As social communicators, we bring awareness and contribute to the stories of those looking to make change. We are also a participant in the UN Global Compact. Through events, promotions and research, Global Compact helps us and the other participants by sharing knowledge and resources on what we can do to engage in sustainable and inclusive activities. By giving organisations an open access portal to networking, learning and engaging, businesses are able to better integrate stronger work practices and business models promoting the Sustainable Development Goals and Ten Principles.

 

Drive change as an SME

There is still so much to learn about what we as individuals and what SMEs can do, so our agency provides an education hub through supporting the UN Global Compact and researching topics of diversity, transgressive behaviour, sustainability and inclusivity. These are sensitive topics. For change to happen, there need to be some difficult conversations. It is easy to use some buzzwords here and there, but often they do not show the actual meaning behind them. This is why we want to share stories of people’s lives and show how these “buzzwords” are not just words, but actual living, breathing people dealing with these issues and why they are enacting change. We contribute by sharing one or a million stories that might change the minds of a couple of individuals to make better choices and contribute to a better future where everyone is included.

 

Resources:

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes_en

https://www.kvkinnovatietop100.nl/site/Water-IQ-International-Water-is-de-basis-van-de-teelt

https://www.kvkinnovatietop100.nl/site/PHYSEE-Energie-via-de-ramen

https://www.kvkinnovatietop100.nl/site/Knakwortel-Plantaardige-hotdog