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Why should cooperation and social solidarity be the new black?

Think big and support small, think globally but act locally

Do you remember what our social and economic reality looked like before the outbreak of the #pandemic?

Let’s take a quick look at some facts or assumption if you prefer: • Micro- , small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent over 90 % of all firms, which provide 60-70% of employment worldwide and 55% of GDP in developed economies (World Trade Organization). In OECD countries, #SMEs provide about 60% of jobs in the manufacturing sector and 75% in services and are accounted for the majority of new job creation (International Labour Organization).

What does it mean? It means that SMEs drive the economic growth and social development.

• There are an estimated 10 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide (The Global Journal). If #NGOs were a country, they would have the 5th largest economy in the world (John Hopkins University). Established by and for people, they are guiding the positive changes that are taking place in the world in various aspects, such as human rights, well-being of disadvantaged people, environment, health and education, employment, to name a few. The number of people worldwide donating money to NGOs increased from 1.2 billion in 2011 to 1.4 billion in 2014. By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion (Charities Aid Foundation). Can we maintain an upward trend for donations after the pandemic ends? We should definitely, because the importance of NGOs cannot be overstated.

• Small businesses with large companies work on daily basis as vendors, customers or partners. Big business learns agile way of working and innovation from start-ups. NGOs offers their credibility and expertise to the business. In return, both NGOs and small businesses receive form large companies resources that they cannot afford. What does it mean? That means we’re all connected. Big, small, micro businesses and NGOs. We depend on each other. That is how our ecosystem has operated so far.

What’s next and why now is the time for musketeers? Now we all face the unknown, different scenarios are presented to us every day. Some are appealing, but most are very pessimistic. If we want a good scenario to fulfill, one thing is certain, we must roll up our sleeves and work hard to make it happen.

#Partnerships, #collaboration, #socialsolidarity and support – now we can take the full advantage of these words, implement them in our #CSRstrategies and make them work in practice. All for one, one for, this is the right call to action.

If we consider that the world economy relies on SMEs and that NGOs are key to social change, we should all be involved in supporting them in these challenging times. Global partnerships between companies, organizations and governments are crucial, no doubt about it. But there is also a lot to be done at local level. Support the small and act locally, yet still think big. Remember that at the end successful cooperation can double the impact through synergy and scaling.

As a business, look around you at your stakeholders: your local community, non-profits, small businesses. Do you have spare computers? Free space in your office? Go for it, some start -ups near you will make a good use of it while brainstorming on some new innovations. Any NGOs near you looking for support? They don’t always need money, you can provide them with resources or knowledge. Are your company’s employees experts in the field of promotion or web design? Great, that’s what a small NGO needs every day. Help them apply a business approach into their organization. How about a partnership? Maybe this is the best time to start corporate #community investments? If you are a leading company working on large projects, maybe an NGO or small business can be part of it? They can work as consultants on specific topics in which they are experts.

What we can do as individuals? There’re plenty we can do: buy gift cards of your favorite small store or restaurant, order takeout delivery, shop from local small business, book you museum ticket today for a future exhibition. Even a nice review on Social media or referring to your friends will do.

The good news is that the first step was taken immediately. Social solidarity manifests itself in many everyday aspects (read more). Both at the individual and international level. Companies implement emergency plans and reorganize their business to meet current needs. NGOs are changing their approach in order to achieve their goals and to continue their ongoing projects. Small and micro companies learn quickly to adapt to new normal. It is also a fact that extreme times reveal extreme potential, and that’s when some great #innovations are born. There are still many challenges ahead of us, but If we continue this direction, in the long run it may prove to be beneficial for businesses, both large and small and NGOs. Let us hope that Vincent van Gogh was right in saying that "great things are done by a series of small things brought together "and then the economy will regain balance soon. Things will get back to normal eventually. Even if it will be a new normal. #atelierwartosci #napedzajanaswartosci


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