Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) have a huge potential to create long lasting social value especially because their business models, products and proximity caters for the everyday needs of the larger part of our population.
Creating social value means executing initiatives that can address social problems and sustain progressive change to improve the overall quality of life for people.
Today, it well accepted that SMEs are well positioned to intervene in the developmental challenges that we face in our country, and we need to develop policies that increase their capacity to do so.
Being the constant touch points with a very wide demographic, SME operations intertwine with consumers’ daily routines, making it easy for them to inculcate cultural shifts and normalize them.
A food vendor, for example, will be best placed to drive a campaign against littering by ensuring that their shop provides bins for their customers, teaching them how to use them.
For the consumers, seeing this being practiced on a daily basis, in a place that they frequent and are familiar with, the idea of waste segregation ceases to be alien and a new consciousness is instilled. Ultimately, social value is created towards the end goal of environmental conservation.
This demonstrates how stakeholder participation in policy development goes a long way in ensuring successful execution. If SMEs are involved in the formulation of policies that will affect their businesses, they will champion the effective implementation of the same.