Some thought on Corporate Social Responsibility for Small and Medium Enterprises in developing countries

**Corporate Social Responsibility is an increasingly important part of the business environment.
The past twenty years have seen a radical change in the relationship between business and society. Key drivers of this change have been the globalization of trade, the increased size and influence of companies, the repositioning of government and the rise in strategic importance of stakeholder relationships, knowledge and brand reputation. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), defined in terms of the responsiveness of businesses to stakeholders’ legal, ethical, social and environmental expectations, is one outcome of these developments.
**SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) development in developing countries is crucial to meeting its goal of improving the impact of business on society.
SMEs are essential to the ‘path out of poverty’ for many developing countries. On the other hand the SME sector must not be allowed to become a loophole in which polluting, exploitative industries flourish. However, support for SME development can be an important part of the CSR commitment of big companies, and improvements in social and environmental impact can go hand in hand with improvements in quality and management. As all we know, the industrial revolution has contribute to the development for the developing countries several centuries ago. During that peorid, those countries tried their best to seize the maximum profit. And now it is important to improve the quality of life in developing countries. So we shouldn’t rebuke the SMEs of developing countries for their development roughly from the view of developed countries.
**Towards ‘Small Business Responsibility’
If CSR is truly going to become a strategic force in contributing to international development and eliminating the negative externalities of business, it must help to develop effective and viable approaches to Small Business Responsibility. It is crucial that:
· CSR supports the role of SMEs in development, and does not serve as a tool to undermine and disadvantage them;
· SMEs are not able to undercut universal CSR standards and become a blindspot in which exploitative and environmental destructive practises flourish.
Thus, the challenges are to reduce the barriers and threats while strengthening the opportunities and drivers in order to ensure that CSR has a wide and positive impact on SMEs.

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One comment on “Some thought on Corporate Social Responsibility for Small and Medium Enterprises in developing countries
  1. jeremy says:

    Interesting point of view Huajin. Certainly, there are a number of successful ‘eco-preneurs’ (see http://www.greenbiz.com, for example) operating SMEs.

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