THE FIRST 10 YEARS OF ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS IN SERBIA

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The Forum for Responsible Business (FOP) celebrated on Friday, December 7th, 10 years of work and efforts to bring together the public, private and civil sector in creating a better society. During the gala dinner celebrating this jubilee, under the slogan “TEN YEARS FIRST”, companies were awarded the awards for their contribution to the development of socially responsible business in Serbia.

The formal part of the program was addressed by Mike de la Rosa, USAID Mission Director in Serbia, HE. Denis Kif, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Great Britain, HE Jan Lundin, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden, HE. Henk van den Dool, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bojan Stevic, State Secretary in the Ministry of State Administration and Local Government, then Svetoslav Atanasov, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro, Predrag Mihajlovic, President of the Board of the Vojvodjanska Bank and representatives of numerous partner organizations and institutions.

Neven Marinović, director of the Smart Collective and Executive Director of the Forum for Responsible Business, presented a survey on the state of socially responsible business in small and medium-sized enterprises. The results have shown that the main expectations and needs of SMEs when it comes to this topic is to facilitate access to finance for SMEs that integrate CSR into their business, the availability of tools and mechanisms for managing and developing sustainable business, linking SMEs with corporate leaders, and promotion of good practices.

The forum for responsible business from the beginning supported the development of social entrepreneurship, and thus, through this event, concrete support was given to social enterprises. At the beginning of the event, the participants had the opportunity to send personal messages about photography about what is important for the society in which we all live and work better, and thanks to their activity and the goal of achieving a certain number of photos, UniCredit Bank supported it with 100,000 .- dinara association of Athens and the social enterprise “Bagel Beagle”, which economically empowers women victims of trafficking.

Support for social enterprises was also provided through the purchase of their products for which the funds were provided by Eurobank. In the gift package for all participants there were cups made by the social enterprise Kvart studio, spices produced by Chrono from Leskovac, chocolate raspberry made by Our house, New Year greeting cards from Neostart, cosmetics Sofi, …

During the events, on Twitter and Instagram under the auspices of Erste Bank through the hashtag #desetgodaprvi and #verujusebe, support was received for the newly established company “Ruke” from Pancevo, which at the end of the evening, Erste Bank donated 100,000.- dinars for the purchase of tools for equipping a tailor’s workshop.

The event was realized as part of the USAID-funded Improvement Framework, implemented by the Coalition for Charity, led by the Ana Foundation and Vlade Divac Foundation. Coalition consists of Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Collective, Serbian Philanthropy Forum, Forum for Responsible Business and Serbian Chamber of Commerce. The event was also supported by CRH, Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro, Delta Holding, Societe Generale Serbia, Vip mobile and Vojvođanska banka.

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