By Santiago Villa, CEO Generali España
The business structure of the Spanish economy is dominated by SMEs: according to data from the local Ministry of Economy, at the end of 2021 there were almost three million SMEs in Spain, many of which, almost one million, with less than nine employees.
At Generali, our commitment goes beyond words and allows us to drive real change and improve people’s lives. With the launch of SME EnterPRIZE, we saw that by recognizing and promoting good, sustainable practices, we can give visibility to the efforts made by the most committed companies, so that they can be models for other entrepreneurs.
This is key, since consumers today make conscious choices and reward companies that share their values, but also penalize those that do not adopt sustainable behaviours.
With the first edition of SME EnterPRIZE, we contributed to highlighting that many SMEs were already engaged in promoting sustainability initiatives. Behind every such action, there is a group of people who want to innovate to make our world a better place to live.
SME EnterPRIZE is helping drive this change by providing support so that bright ideas promoting sustainability can become reality.
But more than that, SME EnterPRIZE is, first and foremost, a wake-up call to the importance that sustainability must also take on in the SME segment because of its weight in the European economy. Only by turning SMEs into an active part of the movement for a sustainable transition, will we be able to achieve our zero-emission ambition.
The Spanish SMEs that have been awarded in this first edition – RIOMA, for its support to young people under risk of social exclusion due to poverty; Cajamir, dedicated to care of the elderly; and Mapiser, for its initiatives aimed at promoting work placement – have contributed to transforming our society in three categories that are particularly relevant to us: environment, welfare, and community.
For us, it has been a great satisfaction to launch this initiative and to learn about hundreds of projects that actively contribute to the development of a fairer, more diverse, inclusive, and environmentally friendly society.
With the second edition of SME EnterPRIZE we are now about to launch, we want to further strengthen our commitment as a Lifetime Partner for Spanish SMEs. Their contribution is key to address the climate emergency, but, above all, to ensure a just transition to a more committed and balanced economic model. Working together in this direction, we will succeed.