Clare Rudall (Head of Membership, Business in the Community Cymru) reflects on a recent business breakfast, designed to bring together smaller companies in Wales and get them involved in responsible business.
It's not about what you do or how big you are – it is about the impact you can make.
This was the core message from our Responsible Business For All breakfast event, held at Finance Wales' offices in mid June of this year. The event brought together micro and small businesses, along with larger companies, to find out more about responsible business and how very clearly it is not the preserve of just the FTSE100.
Business in the Community (BITC) Cymru has the power to convene businesses of all sizes and sectors, at scale and focussed on addressing some of the challenges we face as a nation – in our economy, communities, supply chains and local and national environments. And BITC Cymru does currently work with companies such as Carpets n Carpets in Treorchy as well as companies such as Principality Building Society, Wales & West Utilities and Costain - all three of which have in the past (and in the case of Costain, still is) our Responsible Large Business of the Year. We work with them to make a positive impact on our nation's challenges and help maximise the commercial benefit of responsible behaviours.
So the event not only scaled our work for companies employing one, two or twelve staff but also introduced the value of being a responsible business to organisations who may not have heard of us. In addition to excellent networking opportunities, delegates were also tasked with reflecting on their own actions and behaviours – helping BITC Cymru to further understand some of the challenges smaller companies face and establish where we can provide support.
We are pleased to be able to celebrate the good things that micro and small businesses in Wales are doing across the four main areas of responsible business – community, environment, marketplace and workplace – these are captured in the table below.
Volunteering and working with community groups on a needs-based approach
Sharing time and resources with growing social enterprises and local sports groups
Working with suppliers and sub-contractors in the immediate geographical area
Joining charities as Board Members and Trustees
Growing local employment opportunities
Creating a paperless office – and helping clients move towards becoming paperless
Reducing private car use by incentivising public transport
Utilising low power consumption technology wherever possible for and with clients
Automating systems such as telephone systems to turn off after hours
Seeking recognisable accreditations related to production and sourcing
Working closely with clients to develop better links and closer understanding
Developing new approaches to submitting bids and tender responses with partners
Bringing together peers, colleagues and prospective partners
Seeking to maximise customer experience and engagement
Safeguarding key and longstanding supplier relationships
Paying suppliers a day ahead of schedule
Bringing service users and suppliers into the workplace
Delivering apprenticeship schemes to bring young people into the sector
Investing in staff development
Promoting new and different solutions to make flexible working possible for as many staff as possible
Establishing and managing a regularly convened staff consultation group
Providing an employee assistance programme
Helping staff have fun and enjoy being in work
Avoiding, where possible, late night and evening events and working patterns
Providing unlimited annual leave
What the BITC Cymru team found at the Business Breakfast reinforced our belief that responsible business is for everyone – regardless of size or sector. All companies can do something in at least one of these areas and many already are.
BITC Cymru is proud that so many small and micro-sized business are working with us to grow the responsible business movement in Wales and the team are looking forward to developing our connections with more, smaller companies in the coming months and years.
Thank you to all the companies who attended the event and to the team at Finance Wales for their support and hosting the event.
- Kerry Chown, Cobalt HR
- Ruth Davies, TEL Conversations
- Steve Dimmick, doopoll
- Sarah Edwards, Capital Network Solutions
- Mel Evans, Shopper Anonymous
- Christian Evans, Sanktuary Investments
- Mark Farrar, The Urbanists
- Rhian Haman, Telmark Communications
- Neil Maguinness, Finance Wales
- Graham Morgan, Business Doctors Cardiff
- Justin Peebles, Illustrate Digital
- Sian Price, Finance Wales
- Sokhy Sandhu, Sim’s Food
- Daniel Symonds, Juno Moneta Wealth
If you are a micro business, employing fewer than 50 people, please visit this section of our website to find out more about how you can be part of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network in Wales.