We are founder members of Christian Aid’s Salt Business Network and joined for several reasons. We are passionate about working ethically and responsibly, and Salt gives us the opportunity to explore what this means for businesses. As supporters of Christian Aid, we also strongly believe that we all have a role to play in reducing and eradicating poverty.
I have attended several Salt network meetings and have found them very helpful. They have provided me with key information about relevant topics for business leaders. Within the sessions, there has been the opportunity to discuss these issues with other business leaders. Network members come from a range of businesses, some from similar organisations to my own with similar challenges and much larger businesses with very different issues.
There has also been a challenge to review our business practices, coupled with support from Christian Aid. There have been some aspects of business which I have wanted to develop for some time, such as tax avoidance declarations for suppliers and clients, and the Salt network has given me a place to access advice on these.
Membership of the Salt network has enabled me to make tangible changes to the business. We have clarified its mission and changed our thinking about reporting to better reflect our business aim. We have also reviewed the way we communicate our values internally and externally.
Another development is making a corporate donation to the Incubator Fund. We find this scheme particularly appealing because it is about acting in partnership, which reflects our ways of working. The fund is about encouraging business leaders and giving them the ability to develop their business.
We believe strongly believe that entrepreneurs around the world can help to eradicate poverty, but also that sometimes resource is needed to unlock this potential. I was fortunate to have sufficient working capital and business knowledge to launch know research, but start-up businesses often find it difficult to scale-up their operations because of the risk involved. The positive knock-on effect of a successful business on local communities can be immense, and so we strongly support Christian Aid’s work to support these businesses in developing their potential.
Looking to the future of the Salt Business Network, I hope that the network will continue to grow and to have a positive influence on business in the UK and around the world. There is a greater awareness of social responsibility issues, but equally there are pressures on some businesses from the wider economy which can hamper progress. I pray that, as we continue to develop as a network, we can be an important voice which has a positive impact on business practices.