UK SMEs committed to communities

A report by The Co-operative Bank into the importance of purpose amongst the UK’s 5.7 million small and medium-sized businesses reveals 70 per cent are purpose-driven businesses with a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of their customers and local communities.

In addition, nine out of 10 SMEs recognise the importance of a clear purpose in business success, and over half (52 per cent) said their businesses exist to make a difference to customers’ lives and to serve customers better.

Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) stated they play an important role in their local area; with over a third saying they were an integral part of community life and a fifth (23 per cent) supporting local charities and community projects.

With recent research by Accenture revealing that more than half (53 per cent) of consumers prefer to purchase products and services from companies that stand for a purpose that reflects their own values, the survey supports the notion that good business is based on more than direct operations.

Andrew Bester, CEO at The Co-operative Bank commented: “Small businesses are leading the way with their clear sense of purpose, for themselves, their customers and society, and our ambition is to help support more SMEs in fulfilling theirs. Our research shows how seriously they take improving the lives of their customers and in helping communities thrive and we understand the vital role they have to play.”

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