CSR: What SMEs Need

June 12th and 13th in Berlin. Block your diaries these days for the first international conference called “Networking for Better Corporate Social Responsibility Advice for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises”, to which our consultant Juan Villamayor has been invited, along with other 99 CSR consultants. This conference, funded by the European Commission, will be a forum for experts from all over Europe, specialized in sustainability in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). There will be discussions about how to provide better advice to European SME’s, and how we can contribute to better sustainability strategies in European SMEs.

CSR consultants are already sharing views via social media more and more often. However, it’s what SMEs do in terms of sustainability what is missed. Most often it’s big corporation language.

Consultants can act as a bridge between SMEs, exchanging experiences, know-how and points of view. This is the only way that”small” CSR best practices will be known not only in small, local circles, but also in wider platforms where they can be used by other organizations. A networking event like this has many challenges to face:

  • Spread the news about CSR best practices in SMEs. Usually it is bigger corporations’ programs the only ones that get in the picture, leaving aside useful learnings and experiences made by smaller companies. The path towards sustainability for a SME can have completely different challenges and motivations. Very often what is good for a MNC is not necessarily good for a SME.
  • Create a “best practices database” where both SMEs and consultants can contribute and profit from. Unfortunately, very often brilliant initiatives with great benefits have a limited audience. They should be accessible through this platform.
  • European CSR needs to happen at smaller scale, or it won’t happen at all. According to the European Commission, “SMEs provide two out of three of the private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU”. European CSR programs have to take this into account if they really want to succeed. SMEs need an environment where they feel comfortable and free to discuss how they manage their CSR and sustainability strategies. This conference should be this ideal environment.
  • Share, optimize, improve existing initiatives. For instance, there are dozens of self-diagnose tools that remain known only to few people and companies, mainly because they are local initiatives, or because they don’t have the proper forum where they can be analyzed and discussed. These initiatives should be shared, compared and complemented in order to avoid duplicities and create synergies.
  • Find the best ways to help smaller companies become part of a sustainable supply chain. In some cases sustainability comes top-down: First, multinational companies decide to adopt a sustainable strategy and, later on, they demand the same from their suppliers (often SMEs). Small and medium businesses need to be prepared for that.
  • Simplify things for SMEs: Speak their language, use their scale, be one of them.
  • Turn CSR benefits into real value. Explain CSR to SMEs by using examples that bring added value to their activities. Don’t be abstract, get specific, talk about value creation.
  • The conference should definitely go beyond consultant networking and facilitate networking between SMEs as well.
  • Help companies find new businesses opportunities that are hidden behind the curtain. Tear this curtain down and help SMEs discover a whole new world of green, sustainable activities.
  • The conference should prepare the shift from an economy based of the production of stuff to a new model based on added value and more services.This applies as well on SMEs.

Stay in tune, we will keep you posted!

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Calling All Green Business Entrepreneurs: Get Free Business Lessons for at GBESS Virtual Event

Are you a green business owner or social entrepreneur who believes you can make a positive impact in the world without going broke? Have you always longed to start a sustainable business, but you are not quite sure how to do it, or don’t know what you want to sell?

Whether you are an aspiring social entrepreneur or already have a sustainable business you want to take to the next level, you will get valuable information just by attending this FREE virtual event series.

The Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit

The Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit is a FREE virtual, week long, alternative Green MBA, featuring the visionary leaders who are DEFINING the green economy and ethical marketplace, plus marketing gurus who will help you take your business to the next level.

Here are the details: April 16-20 Earth Week 2012

To get access to the calls, please register: http://www.greenbusinessentrepreneurs.com/

This is a FREE Event brought to you by Green Marketing TV

Who Should Attend

  • Established green business owners and green business professionals
  • Mission driven entrepreneurs who believe in sustainability
  • Green marketers & green product designers
  • Forward thinking intrapraneurs driving corporate sustainability initiatives
  • Early stage green startup entrepreneurs
  • Aspiring green and social entrepreneurs researching innovative business ideas
  • Changemakers seeking to unite purpose, passion and profit

What You Will Learn

  • Evaluating the Marketplace & Identifying Your Niche
  • Developing Your Visionary Business Idea
  • Raising Capital Through Business Plan Competitions, Crowdfunding & VC Investment
  • Growing Your Business Without Going Crazy
  • Marketing Your Business on a Bootstrap Budget

Panel Topics

Monday April 16 | Track 1 – The Growth of the Green Economy & Ethical Markets:

  • What Will It Take to Co-Create a Green Economy?
  • The Greening of Mainstream Business In Non-Green Markets
  • Ways Sustainable Business is Going Global & Improving Social Conditions
  • Hottest Opportunities in the $290 billion US LOHAS Market
  • Making Green Sexy: Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Small Green Businesses

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Tuesday April 17 | Track 2 – From Visionary Business Idea…

  • Keys to Manifesting Entrepreneurial Success Using the Law of Attraction
  • Hacking Social Enterprise Business Plan Competitions
  • How to Attract VC Investors to Fund Your Social Enterprise
  • Who’s Funding What in the Social Capital Market Place
  • The Art of Defining Your Niche & Attracting Your Perfect Fit Clients
  • How to Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

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Wednesday April 18 | Track 3 – …To Thriving Green Enterprise:

  • The New Rules of Green Marketing: What Green Entrepreneurs Need to Know Now
  • Small Companies Creating Cool Green Products
  • How to Power Network Your Way to a More Sustainable World
  • Online Productivity Tools Every Small Business Should Know About
  • Innovative Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Creating Scalable Solutions – And How You Can Be One Too

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Thursday April 19 | Track 4 – Grow Your Good Business With Social Media Marketing

  • Your Small Business Social Media Command Central
  • Cracking the Code to Profitable Social Media Marketing As a Small Business
  • Your Social Media Launch BluePrint & Advanced Strategies for Savvy Marketers
  • Facebook – From Social Time Suck to Lead Generation Machine
  • What it Takes to Build a 6 Figure Business For Good Blogging Empire
  • From Green Blog to Green Business – Creative Blog Monetization Strategies

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Friday April 20 | Track 5 – Bootstrap Internet Marketing for Green & Socially Responsible Business

  • Creating Your First Small Business Website on a Bootstrap Budget
  • WordPress SEO Strategies for Time Strapped Small Businesses
  • The Art of Turning Website Visitors Into Adoring Customers
  • Why Local SEO Matters for Your Small Green Business
  • Grow Your Sustainable Business with Green Affiliate Marketing

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Speakers

Speakers include:

Marcos Cordero, CEO of the Green Business Bureau;

Steven Hoffman, Co-Founder of the LOHAS Journal & LOHAS Forum;

KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, CEO & Founder of Sustainable Life Media & Sustainable Brands Conference;

Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director Green America & Green Festivals;

Shel Horowitz, Author of Guerilla Marketing Goes Green;

Bob Doyle, CEO of Boundless Living & Wealth Beyond Reason;

Morgan Morris, Co-Founder of Inspire Green Inc;

Tyler Gage, Co-Founder of Runa Amazon Guayusa Tea Company;

Kevin Jones, Co-Founder of the SOCAP Conference & Good Capital;

Tad Hargrave, Founder of Marketing for Hippies;

Scott Cooney, Founder of GreenBusinessOwner.com;

Jacquie Ottman, Author of The New Rules of Green Marketing;

Elena Christopoulos, Executive Director of the Green Chamber of Commerce;

Nikki Pava, Co-Founder of EcoTuesday & Founder of Alegria Partners;

Lorna Li, Founder of Green Marketing TV & Host of the Entrepreneurs for a Change Podcast;

Katrina Heppler, Founder of EnvisionGood.tv;

Cory Smith, CEO of The Hub Bay Area, Hub Ventures, & SOCAP Conference;

JD Lasica, Founder of SocialBrite.org & SocialMedia.biz;

George Kao, Holistic Marketing Coach;

Nick Aster, Founder Triple Pundit, Co-Founder TreeHugger;

Joost de Valk, Founder Yoast.com & Creator of WordPress SEO Plugin;

Rich Brooks, President Flyte New Media;

David Mihm, Co-Founder of GetListed.org & Local SEO Consultant;

Warren Fligg, Founder Performance-Based Green Affiliate Network;

Kate Harrison, Founder of the Green Bride Guide.

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About Green Marketing TV

The Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit is brought to you by Green Marketing TV, a business blog for green and social entrepreneurs – entrepreneurs who care about people, profits, and the planet.

Our mission is to provide socially responsible entrepreneurs with marketing strategies, tips and tools that help them grow their small to medium sized businesses. We offer insightful entrepreneur interviews, news coverage of inspiring organizations, actionable marketing advice, and useful guides on how to start and grow a triple bottom line business, without going crazy.