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To help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) understand and adopt better corporate social responsibility practices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Centre for Responsible Business organised a complimentary session at the Change Initiative premises recently.

The session, entitled Corporate Social Responsibility for Small and Medium Enterprises, focused on providing SME’s with practical knowledge and guidance to align responsible business practices with their company.

Vineetha Mathew, Senior Executive CSR Training, Centre for Responsible Business, spoke about how using CSR models and practices can help SMEs become more effective productive and responsible businesses.

She told attendees that regardless of a company’s size, or how limited its time or resources are, it can still adopt individual CSR programmes that will help it become a better business.

As a major source of employment in the UAE, SMEs are the backbone of the economy, said Mathew. More so than large enterprises, SMEs have a greater advantage when it comes to implementing CSR as having fewer employees makes it easier to develop a corporate culture within the company that supports responsible practices, she said.

In addition, SMEs tend to have more flexible operations and can respond to new ideas more easily and quickly. Today’s session aimed to provide SMEs with practical knowledge and guidance to align responsible business practices into their company, she said.

Syed Atif, Corporate Responsibility Reporting & Compliance Manager – SEMEA of TNT Express, gave an introduction to the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network’s Integrating CSR task group, which worked with SamTech to help it formalise its CSR practices and processes.

This was followed by SamTech’s Founder and CEO Samir I. Adbul Hadi, who spoke about his perspectives as an entrepreneur about his company’s CSR journey and the benefits they have seen following the work with the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network task group.

Gundeep Singh, CEO of The Change Initiative, then gave a presentation about their business model and its strategy to add social value.  This was followed by a question and answer session and a tour of the store in Barsha 1, which sells eco friendly solutions and products.

The Centre for Responsible Business was formed in 2004 by Dubai Chamber in order to promote CSR in the UAE. The centre assists Dubai businesses incorporate responsible practices and encourages them to enhance their performance and create a competitive advantage.

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