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INFOGRAPHIC: The SME: Sizeable Sustainable Outcomes from Small and Medium Businesses 

First, what does SME stand for?   


noun: SME; plural noun: SMEs  

A small to medium-sized enterprise, a company with a number of employees of less than 500 employees. 

The abbreviation "SME" is used by international organizations such as the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization.  

SMEs comprise the largest group of business classifications globally.   


Next, why are SMEs such a powerful force for sustainable outcomes? In one word: Communities 




While the agendas of corporate mammoths tend to dominate our news feeds, not to be overlooked are the SMEs, small and medium enterprises. SMEs use business decisions to shape the direction of environmental sustainability and human rights.  These leaders and entrepreneurs are embedded in the communities they serve and help form the foundation of our society.

If we do not take care to protect SMEs through just policies and legislation, the negative effects trickle down and act to destabilize society.  Sustainable objectives are achieved by supporting SMEs with buying policies that consider their unique needs and benefits.

Watchful of their customers' perspectives and values, small and medium business ownes are often the first to flex with shifting public perspectives and support up-and-coming technologies to remain competitive. For their dedication, they are rewarded by the loyalty of the brand advocates who love them.  

It’s this entrepreneurial aptitude for listening, observing the common truths, and flexibility to drive actions which make SMEs masters of the marketplace. These businesses are highly capable of guiding their work to support a culture of sustainable outcomes and B2B collaborations.  

The exchange is fluid. Well-communicated decisions from leadership tend to motivate the actions of the consumers they attract. 

According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor at Harvard, “Top leaders exemplify and communicate the company’s purpose and values, but everyone owns them, and the values become embedded in tasks, goals, and performance standards.”    


These actions individually are compelling.  

These actions, taken together, are unstoppable.  

We know every step actioned today towards a small business sustainable plan contributes to transformative changes in the economy. We know this because small businesses rely on collaborations and partnerships within communities, making the sphere of influence of an SME multiplied by its contributions.   

SMEs make up approximately 99% of the world’s businesses and drive innovation, research, and economic growth. 

With the recent global acceptance of networking and virtual conferences, today's modern “Zoom-nation” can make it even easier to cross-pollinate sustainable solutions. Paths to a 100% circular economy are possible in a way few would have predicted decades ago.   


Finally, how can SMEs build an agenda for sustainable development?

If you are a SME leader and don’t want to miss a step, you can use your influence to shape the future of economic development.

We have information to support you. We’ve collected a few facts and tips to support your next steps. Take your place as vocal leaders and use your substantial influence on procurement and policy to do some good.  

Bring on the decade of action.    


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Eco-Innovation, Fair Trade, Finance & The Social Economy, Investment