SME EnterPRIZE is the initiative launched by Generali with the purpose of encouraging European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt sustainable business models. The project aims to give visibility, also through a digital platform, to companies that have already moved in this direction and to provide businesses with a space for inspiration and sharing of ideas. SME EnterPRIZE is one of the flagship activities launched by Generali on the occasion of the Group’s 190th anniversary.
The project was created with the intention to:
“With SME EnterPRIZE we have achieved the goal of creating a network to promote the culture of sustainability at a European level, positively influencing the ecosystems of SMEs and achieving important environmental objectives” said Gabriele Galateri di Genola, Chairman of Assicurazioni Generali. “Through this initiative, we can support Europe’s green and digital transformation by creating value for all stakeholders.”
During the event that was held in Brussels, dedicated to the first edition of SME EnterPRIZE, Philippe Donnet, Group CEO of Generali, underlined that “Small- and medium-sized enterprises are a fundamental pillar of the European economy and one of the main drivers of the sustainable transition. SME EnterPRIZE is part of the strategic plan ‘Generali 2021’ and is in line with our ambition to promote a greener and more inclusive society, consistent with the European Green Deal and Next Generation EU.”
Through SME EnterPRIZE, the Group wanted to give visibility to the best practices implemented by European SMEs in three specific categories:
Lucia Silva, Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility of the Generali Group, underlined how “SME EnterPRIZE brought together SMEs from all over our continent and identified the best practices of each of the countries involved, enhancing the commitment to welfare, the environment and the community. We want to encourage, educate and inspire SMEs through this program, which will continue next year with a second edition.”
The Brussels event consisted of a press conference, a seminar with delegates from the European Commission and Parliament, and an award ceremony. Vincenzo Amendola, Under Secretary of State to the Prime Minister responsible for European Affairs in the Draghi government, and Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy, spoke during the event. The European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, also participated with a video message.
During the event, the White Paper “Fostering Sustainability among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises” was also presented – promoted by Generali and edited by SDA Bocconi, School of Management Sustainability Lab, which represents a guide to the sustainable transition of SMEs.
Among more than 6,000 SMEs participating, Generali presented the “Sustainability Heroes“, which are the companies selected from the three main categories across seven European countries that joined the project: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain.
SMEs collectively represent more than half of Europe’s GDP and 99% of companies in the EU, they are the foundation of the European economy and are essential drivers of sustainable transition. In order for them to lead this transition, it is necessary not only for these companies to be aware of the risks that society faces if action is not taken quickly, but also to identify the key paths that will allow them to progress in this direction quickly and effectively.