SME News

Corporate social responsibility in Kenyan SMEs

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR pertains to integrity where a registered structured establishment governs itself, fulfills its mission, lives by its values, engages with its clientele & stakeholders, measures its impact and reports on its activities. Although most people appreciate the recent advancement of corporate social responsibility in Kenya, some argue that corporations are still not doing enough or are only acting in self-interest. While enterprises need to have good CSR policies in order to build and maintain their reputation, they are also expected to maximize and break even on profit margins. Therefore, businesses (large, medium or small) need to put in a sufficient amount of time and resources to achieve what they have promised in their policies as advantages of corporate social responsibility.

SMEs in Globalization

Globalization has opened new avenues and is making great inroads for non-skilled, semi-skilled and professionals in the societal placing to partake in driving the economic and development agenda in Kenya and by extension, the region. One offshoot of this is the practice of outsourcing and accessing funds from banks and other lending platforms for enterprises. The government of Kenya and the corporate sector individually as well as jointly support this industry (SMEs) trend as it realigns the focus from formal employment to self- employment as well as creating a paradigm on education for sustainable growth, qualitative and quantitative development.

In high-income countries like the United States, millions of workers earn minimum wage at full-time jobs and still cannot afford basic necessities. When people work for low wages, personal and institutional gratification is highly compromised at the expense of the institutional mandate as this is occasioned by the workers need to increase their incomes alternatively. Another source of this phenomenon is the need for creation of sustainable livelihoods, which has become an important factor in the present day Kenya, more so among disadvantaged populations. Sustaining the progress calls for an explicit consideration of future generations vis-a-vis the status quo. Youth will inherit many of the environmental, economic and social problems created over the past by lack of formal employment. Establishing a conducive environment for operationalization, sensitization, full support and funding of SMEs and incorporation of Kenyans opinions and concerns into government policies that support SMEs at all levels is critical for progress.

SMEs role in corporate social responsibility

With SMEs focusing on generating profits, sustainability has not been a popular concern amongst all enterprises up until recently. In a globalist trended era, small and medium enterprises and big corporations alike should be guided by the CSR obligation to ensure that they do not conduct destructive and unethical practices, such as polluting the environment, thereby attracting negative feedback from the general public.

With increased media attention on CSR by enterprises, there is surging demand from the citizenry to conduct sustainable business practices. In addition, in order to attract and retain a significant clientele base, enterprises need to realize the importance of being ethical while running their daily operations. The corporate response has often meant an adoption of ‘a new consciousness’, and this leads to the concept of corporate social responsibility.

SMEs are expected to perform well in non-financial areas such as human rights, business ethics, environmental policies, corporate contributions, community development and corporate governance. The problem is that many companies that claim to be socially responsible often do not live up to such a standard. As CSR should be commonplace among SMEs, there are concerns that some promote an importance of corporate social responsibility whether or not they have a true strategy in place and the results to show for. Accountability and transparency are key to conducting business in a socially responsible manner.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Corporate social responsibility (CRS) plays an important role in decision making for your business. The momentous change in the trends of global competitiveness has spread the importance of CRS an impressive strategy to strengthen the role of SMEs in financial as well as non-financial areas. While a number of corporations have been displaying an ambivalent practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards, due to the SMEs greater and more direct impact on non-financial areas than the corporations, the challenge is for them to validate the image of CSR by adopting responsible measures.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Growing a Business

Want Great Guidance ? Find yourself a Super Mentor


They are the gods of small businesses, those inspired individuals who have achieved the highest levels of success. They can be the shining beacons who light up the path of running your business with their vision, wisdom and wealth of resources and contacts. They are The Mentors.

If you are fired with the passion to take your business to great heights, the best thing to do is find yourself a super mentor. Here are some tips to help in your quest

Pinpoint your Need

Sit down and focus your thoughts on your business growth strategy. Which area of the business needs a lift. Is is staffing, is it the finances, is it the production, is it the your lack of customers or is it the business as a whole that needs a makeover. Once you’ve zoomed in on the sore spot, this is where you need…

Read More
Growing a Business

Dreaming Big? You can Move Mountains with these Business Productivty Tips


You may be full of admiration for some people who seem to manage themselves and their work so usefully and efficiently. They seem to fit in so much productive work into the same number of hours which everyone has.. Let’s look what makes them tick and take a few tips.

Learn to identify your most productive hours

Its true, most productive people know which time of the day they can be most creative and efficient. They identify and allot these hours for the best part of their work. This way they are able to give their 100% awareness to the job and business productivity.

Early to rise- A winning habit

Waking up early is a personal habit that has all the plusses on its side. You need not necessarily go to work that early. It’s a habit that gives you more time for personal care, like mediation, exercise, walking,…

Read More
Growing a Business

Leadership Qualities that can make you an Icon


You may have reached the leadership position through sheer dedication to performance and a do or die attitude . Now that you are at the top, your viewpoint needs to change. You have to now be a role model, one whom others will look up to and follow. Here are some tips that can shape your leadership and management skills

Be Competent: Employees will look up to a leader who has good industry knowledge and management skills. If you do not possess these skills you should surround yourself with knowledgeable people who can offer good counsel. Competence is a trait all employees will admire.

Be Trustworthy: No one will look up to a person they cannot trust. Your employees will want to rely on you and count on you. In difficult situations, leaders are expected to apprise their employees of the situations and find solutions on how to address…

Read More
Raising Money

Are You offering Your Services Using the Right Pricing Strategies?


In these times of fierce competition, business people , mostly those that offer services and belong to the service based industry, are finding it a challenge to implement the right pricing strategies. It is virtually a struggle to set the right business price that will retain and attract the customers, and not drive them away. Follow these tips, the crucial dos and don’t s and you may be in a much better position to offer your services at the best price.

Maintain your Business identity and Dignity

If you are offering a unique or special product or service, don’t underrate it just because you want to build a better relationship with the customer. This will just cheapen your offering as another run of the mill. If its something special you are offering the customer, then communicate this fact to the client and get the equation right with the most…

Read More
Raising Money

What is a Fair Wage? How Do you Assess Fair Wage?


How do you figure out a fair wage?

This is a very common question for startups and small businesses. They can’t seem to decide or understand how to set wages and manage reputations at a time. They are determined to pay well but they also have to think about encouraging their employees to stay with them for a long time. This is why there is a need to think strategically.

Listed below are a few expert tips to help you decide:

Don’t Focus Only on Money

Money should never be the main focus for you or for your employees. You should decide on the wages in such a way that your employees are tied to your business. When your business does well they should be able to taste that success and vice versa.

Also, think about additional perks such as exclusive benefits and time off. Many employees value this more than the overall…

Read More
Raising Money

Tips to Winning Hard Negotiations With Ease


While some negotiations are easy, others are quite hard to win. If you stumble you will lose.

Whether it is a potential client or an investor, negotiations can be very tough and frustrating. The problem is that the moment you let your frustration overwhelm you, you will lose the deal and you will give in to whatever is being offered to you. In order to avoid that, here are tips to overcome tough times and to win even the hard negotiations:


Know your opponent as well as possible. This is the rule no matter what you do. You should understand your opponent to the T. Who the person is, what his culture is, what he thinks, what he stands for, how is his network, etc. are the questions you should ask yourself and answer through research before meeting up for the negotiation. Understanding the opponent will give you a great advantage.


Read More