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Small firms 'more responsible' than big business

Date 16 Aug 2007
Author The Editor
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The UK’s small business entrepreneurs are the driving force for corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to new research. Entrepreneur think tank the Tenon Forum found that the smaller the company turnover, the bigger the commitment to the community.

A generous 71% of owners of firms turning over less than £1m a year said they prioritised community support, compared to 56% of those turning over £6-20m. The support ranges from entrepreneurs buying local products and using local suppliers to sponsoring local charity events. More than 70% said they raised funds for local charities and 62% donated employee time. The most active community supporters are entrepreneurs from the agricultural, fishing and mining sectors – 81% of which make CSR a priority.

However, the findings suggest that prioritising CSR is not just about giving something back to community. According to the research, 71% of entrepreneurs also believe it is good for business.

Michaela Johns, director of business services at Tenon, said: "It’s an incredibly positive trend to see so many entrepreneurs embracing CSR and giving back to their communities. "Big business has long been seen as the leader in driving CSR but increasingly entrepreneurs are dedicating time and effort to social and environmental causes and consequently seeing real business benefits."

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