Title Corporate Social Responsibility for SMEs
Project Number DE/11/LLP-LdV/TOI/147 442
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Corporate Social Responsibililty (CSR) is a well-known concept in major companies, but hardly one in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
During the project a learning course especially for SMEs was developed and tested in two countries - in Germany and Poland - and ensuing a comprehensive manual of the learning course has been made available.
In SMEs there is a large need to increase an awareness of a strategic and long-term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept and to educate owners and managers implementing CSR in their own companies. Individual elements of social responsibility are already addressed in various further educational trainings. However, a comprehensive further education and consulting programme for SMEs is non-existent. Research and teaching have been intensively involved in the CSR in large corporations. There is a deficiency of SME-specific concepts concerning the perception of social responsibility.
On the basis of existing best practices, a comprehensive CSR training and advisory programme will be created specifically for SMEs and tested in practice by two project partners in Germany and Poland. After an appropriate revision, the CSR concept will be transferred to up to 50 chambers and 15 universities and colleauges in 9 Baltic Sea Region states and in the case implemented there; trainers will be trained and a lasting implementation for SMEs with widespread impact will be ensured.
All the objectives and results of the project have been achieved and compared to the original plan even exceeded. The following activities were carried out and results achieved:
1. According to the planned tasks the CSR further vocational training was developed and in Germany and Poland tested in practice. In addition, an adaptation of the curriculum to Hungarian conditions was done and a pilot training in Budapest conducted. Moreover, a further implementation in Germany was realized within dual bachelor's degree program with students and SMEs.
2. The CSR course is developed as further vocational training. Here, in addition it has been integrated as a module into bachelor's degree program.
3. The CSR training bases on an innovative approach because it consists of 3 parts/modules: Part I: Imparting of knowledge on CSR, best practices, experience exchange; part II = the key of the training: self-study and tailormade application of the CSR in an enterprise; part III: reflections, planning of the further work with CSR in enterprises, individual consultation if needed. Due to this innovative concept that in the heart consists of accompanying consultations by trainers during the self-study phase and the practical CSR work in company individual CSR solutions in companies can be developed and implemented. This has significantly increased the learning success and has triggered high motivation in SMEs.
4. Instead of 3 planned partner workshops there were performed 5 partner workshops to include the needs and conditions of SMEs of individual BSR countries comprehensively in the development of the training and ensure sustainable implementations.
5 Due to the great interest as well as to enhance the dissemination of the project results five television broadcasts were produced and broadcasted á 45 minutes to primetime.
6 The CSR training developed and tested was transferred to 65 associate partners in 13 countries of Baltic Sea Region. For this purpose, an international transfer conference was scheduled during whole the project. However, there were performed altogether 3 transfer and consulting conferences: at the beginning, middle and end of the project. This allowed a very close involvement of the transfer recipients in the work and supported the dissemination and transfer success.
7. In Bialystok a train-the-trainer seminar was conducted with great success.
8. Additionally to the CSR training’s manual a book with the title "Corporate Social Responsibility and Women`s Entrepreneurship around the Mare Balticum" including 33 book articles written by scientists and practitioners as well as evaluation of the discussion during the last transfer conference was published.
9. An additional project Information brochure with the most important information of the project has been prepared and distributed on a large scale.
10. Also much stronger than planned presentations were implemented on third-party events to spread the information on CSR and the project to a wider audience.
In the project "CSR for SMEs", a training course has been developed specifically for the SME sector. The special about this training course is that it focuses not only on imparting necessary content-related and methodical basics but also and especially on planning and implementation of tailor-made CSR projects in the respective enterprise. The course concept was tested in Germany and Poland and scientifically evaluated. Moreover, a handbook with all the results, curriculum, other teaching materials, etc. is available in German, English and Polish. Written as well as at conferences, workshops and individual consultations CSR course was transferred to 50 chambers of crafts, industry and commerce as well as 15 universities from all Baltic Sea Region countries. These recipients will permanently offer this training SMEs in their region, thus ensuring a strong distribution and high sustainability.
For Germany a recognized training examination to "Corporate Social Responsibility experts in SMEs" was created. Based on this regulation exams can be done, qualified certificates issued and international recognition can be achieved in all other countries.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Information and Communication
transparency and certification
program or curricula
1. The main product of the project is the comprehensive manual for the implementation of CSR in SMEs. The manual is available in three languages: German, Polish and Englisch. It includes materials (see point 3) and evaluation of the training.
2. Project website: www.csr-smes.eu
3. CSR training´s manual with curriculum including modules, materials for teachers and training participants(trainer presentation, working manual for course participants), final examination and international recognition, legal provisions for the continuing training examination.
4. Five TV broadcasts
5. Flyers for the further vocational training in German and Polish
6. Project Fact brochure
7. Book "Corporate Social Responsibility and women's entrepreneurship around the Mare Balticum"