Canadian businesses see the pandemic as an opportunity to
TORONTO, July 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Sage (FTSE: SGE), the market leader in cloud-based business management solutions, today released the Canadian findings of its new report, Break down barriers, who interviewed decision makers from companies with 250 or fewer employees in nine countries, and explored their thoughts on sustainability, diversity, community and digital inequalities.
In Canada, the report revealed key opportunities for Canadian businesses:
- Over 80% of Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) know at least fairly well their environmental (82%), social (84%) and community (84%) impact.
- The top three issues identified by Canadian SMEs as being the most critical for business, government and society to address are: skills development and lack of education (37%), racial inequalities (30%) and poverty (23%).
- At least 70% of Canadian SMEs believe the pandemic provides an opportunity to promote sustainability (77%), diversity (70%) and community efforts (73%).
Employee well-being is the number one concern of Canadian SMEs
When asked which positive initiatives they currently prioritize, 51% of Canadian SMEs cited employee health and well-being – the highest percentage of any market surveyed. Other most frequent responses included prioritizing diversity (31%), sustainability and environmental issues (29%) and community investment (26%).
When asked why having a positive social and environmental impact is important to their business, two of the top three reasons cited by Canadian SMEs were to attract new customers (38%) and reduce costs (32%) . The third most popular reason, cited by over a quarter of respondents (26%), is that it is simply the right thing to do.
“Canada is recognized internationally for its efforts to promote diversity, support justice and protect the environment, and our Break down barriers survey indicates reputation is well deserved, ”said Steve Ryujin, Acting CEO, Sage Canada. “We were not surprised to learn that the majority of small businesses in Canada see the health and well-being of employees as a top priority, or that nearly three-quarters of Canadian SMEs see the pandemic as a business opportunity. ” increase their support for social, environmental and community causes.
Report coincides with Sage’s new corporate and sustainability strategy
Sage conducted the Knocking Down Barriers survey to coincide with the launch of its ambitious new global sustainability and societal strategy, which builds on the success of its five-year corporate sponsorship program, Sage Foundation . This strategy includes a new commitment to help tackle the climate crisis, with a commitment to be net zero in all of its operations and supply chain by 2040, with an intermediate step to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
Sage CEO Steve Hare commented, “Sage stands with the millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) we serve around the world as they tackle the great challenges of our time. We want to break down the barriers that hinder access to opportunity, equality and sustainability. We are strengthening our commitments to our environmental impact with an ambitious goal of net zero carbon across our entire value chain and our social impact, using our technology, time and experience to support a new generation of diverse businesses and sustainable.
To achieve its goals, Sage focuses on three strategic pillars:
Fighting digital inequalities for innovation, business and progress
According to the World Economic Forum, 70% of the new value created in the global economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled business models. Sage wants everyone to take advantage of the opportunities created by this rapid digitization, which is why the company is increasing its investment in its Sage FutureMakers program, which provides young people with access to education and intelligence awareness. artificial via an e-learning platform.
Fighting the climate crisis by fueling sustainable economic models
Canadian SMEs are eager to reduce their environmental footprint and Sage is ready to help. The company builds on the success of its small business advisory platform, Sage Advice, which serves more than six million small businesses worldwide, with a Sustainability Hub to guide small businesses on their journey to managing their own impact.
In addition to helping SMEs understand and reduce their environmental impact, Sage aims to achieve net zero for scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2040, reducing the impact of its own business operations, by reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 and effectively managing its supply chains.
Sage is also committed to the SBTi (science-based target initiative), the UN race to zero on climate change and has adhered to the commercial ambition of the United Nations Global Compact for the 1.5 ° path. vs. Sage continues to participate in the annual CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and is rated AA by MSCI and low risk by Sustainalytics, supporting the recommendations of the Climate Related Financial Disclosure Task Force (TCFD).
Tackle economic inequalities by supporting underrepresented groups
Starting and growing a business is a proven route to long-term employment, great job satisfaction, and wealth building, but many people lack the confidence, skills, and financial backing to do so. In the Break down barriers report, on the reasons why all Canadians do not have an equal opportunity to start their own business, the top three reasons cited by Canadian SMEs were lack of access to private finance (60%), lack of financing / government support (50%), and inequality of knowledge / resources (50%).
To help tackle this problem, Sage is providing a solid digital and financial foundation for businesses and start-ups led by underrepresented groups, including a three-year global partnership with nonprofit lending platform Kiva aimed at improve financial inclusion in communities that are struggling to start or grow their businesses, which will initially support 12,000 entrepreneurs.
In Canada, the Sage Foundation has supported 14 organizations dedicated to helping members of economically disadvantaged groups become entrepreneurs, including Covenant House Vancouver, Prince’s Trust Canada and the True Patriot Love Foundation.
“Our partnership with Sage began in 2017 through their Grants for Change Enterprise Fund, which helps vulnerable youth populations reach their full potential. In addition to this vital funding, Sage has provided many volunteers over the past three years who have dedicated a full day of community service to support our youth and fundraising programs, ”said Mary Pappajohn, Corporate Development Officer and foundations, Covenant House Vancouver.
Sage is the global market leader in technology that gives small and medium-sized businesses the visibility, flexibility and efficiency to manage finances, operations and people. Along with our partners, millions of customers around the world trust Sage to provide the best technology and the best cloud support. Our years of experience mean that our colleagues and partners understand how to serve our customers and communities through good and tough times. We’re here to help, with practical advice, solutions, expertise and knowledge.
Kiva is an international non-profit organization, founded in 2005 in San Francisco, with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. www.kiva.org
About Covenant House Vancouver
By offering love and hope to homeless and at-risk street youth in Vancouver, Covenant House Vancouver helps youth aged 16 to 24 who have fled physical, emotional and sexual violence; who were forced to leave their homes; and who have aged outside the foster family.
Sage conducted an online survey of 11,504 SME decision makers (18+ adults) working in companies employing 250 people or less in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, in Singapore, Spain and South Africa on their perspectives on sustainability, diversity, community and digital inequalities. The survey included 1,096 respondents from Canada. SME decision-makers are defined as owners or people in managerial positions, such as CEOs. The full report is available here. For any questions about the study methodology, please contact [email protected].