It is not unusual to feel there is very little that we can do in the face of complex and large challenges. But if we can identify those actions that make a positive difference – we all have the opportunity to play our part.
If we start behaving differently in numbers, the many small changes we each make can accumulate and lead to gargantuan effects. Small behavioural changes associated with carbon reduction, minimising and recycling waste and increased hygiene can make a substantial difference to address national and global challenges, albeit you may never know by just how much or when.
Governments, large businesses and charities have a role to play but they cannot provide all the answers – the only thing we can be sure of is that by choosing to act ourselves, we can make a positive difference in the future.
The small things we do may only touch a handful of people’s lives, but will make a difference – and those that benefit might as some time have the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’. It could be that one small act is the catalyst that sets in place a chain reaction that results in much bigger change for the better.
So, what can microbusinesses do?
In the spring of 2020 in the UK, there were 5.7 million microbusinesses employing fewer than 10 employees. This proportion represents 96% of all businesses accounting for 33% of total employment and 21% of turnover.
In comparison, there were 8,000 large businesses with more than 250 employees, accounting for only 0.1% of businesses, 39% of employment and 48% of turnover. Given these figures, it would be all too easy to look to the larger businesses and multinationals as the only players having sufficient leverage to drive positive change through Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.
However, 21% of UK turnover from microbusinesses equates to 1.4 trillion pounds.
And this level of activity is more than just a drop of water in the pond when it comes to the potential to make a difference.
There are two parts to taking on the challenge:
- Developing the compelling narratives needed to inspire participation.
- Knowing where best to start and what to do.
Interimconsult are currently working as a Business Partner with a great team of students from Nottingham University on the Learning Without Borders ‘Social Impact Game’. We have a compelling narrative, and we are inspired to make change.
But we want to know where best to start and what to do.
Over the next few weeks, the Nottingham University team will be speaking to several small businesses around the UK to explore what is already being done and what could be done in the future. The goal is to develop a toolkit that can provide Interimconsult and other microbusinesses with the insight to inform choices about how to make the most social impact.
Here at Interimconsult we are looking forward to the journey and using its findings to make a difference.
We are not a large company, but small changes matter.
You can find out more about Learning Without Borders and the Social Impact Game here.