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SME EnterPRIZE – Backstage from France

December 16, 2021

By Jean-Laurent Granier, CEO of Generali France

Generali France is committed to supporting the most sustainable and responsible SMEs. Anticipating risks, pooling them, preventing them and working over the long term is at the heart of our business. As an insurer and investor, as an employer and as a player in civil society, we are committed to playing a positive role in meeting the social challenges of our time. Sustainable development is one of these essential levers.

Our responsibility and our ambition are also to promote and support companies that are committed to sustainability. SMEs are an important part of France’s economic and social fabric and their commitment is essential for driving all transitions in depth and having a strong impact at all levels.

Generali France is committed to being a key partner in the lives of VSEs (very small enterprises), SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and entrepreneurs, and to supporting them in their ambitions. The awards we gave in the framework of the SME EnterPRIZE initiative reflect the diversity of French SMEs throughout the country and showcase innovative profiles that send a positive signal about the commitment and impact of French companies on these issues.

This is a first, but it is also the continuation of a commitment that our company began in France in 2006 with the creation of an innovative risk analysis diagnostic for SMEs, which already included CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) criteria. For 15 years now, our intuition has been right about responsible entrepreneurs: they perform better in the long term and are also better at anticipating, adapting to and controlling risks.

Systemic risks such as pandemics, natural disasters, and cyber-attacks threaten our equilibrium and humanity. To respond to these risks, we need to promote virtuous business models on an international scale, hence the dimension of this SME EnterPRIZE award organised at a European level, as we are the continent’s leading insurer in terms of activity.

I would like to congratulate the five winners of the French edition of the initiative, as they won the votes of a jury of CSR experts who met for this occasion and I would like to thank them all for their commitment to us and the inspiration they provide. They are tangible proof that sustainable development is a winning bet! I would also like to thank Generali France’s general agents and partner brokers who collected the applications of 188 committed business leaders.

I am delighted that all these reflections on business sustainability models are actively supported by the French government and that our SME EnterPRIZE France prize is sponsored by Mr Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery.

Olivia Grégoire, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Economy, Finance and Recovery, in charge of the Social, Solidarity and Responsible Economy, who attended the awards ceremony of the project’s local edition, said: “I welcome and encourage the development of this SME EnterPRIZE award, which highlights the essential commitment of SMEs to the environmental and social transition. These companies have expertise in terms of responsibility and sustainability that they should share. It is by recognising good practices that human scale inspirations will move more individuals.”

Congratulations to all the 2021 SME EnterPRIZE winning entrepreneurs and see you next year for the 2nd edition of the initiative!