São Paolo, Brazil
The Alliance for Integrity’s medium-term business development programme designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Integrity Journey, ended with a closing event on 19 September at the Regional Administration Counsel of São Paulo (CRA-SP), Brazil. The finalists received recognition for their dedication and work throughout the programme. More than 50 people attended the event. Cristina Palmaka, CEO of SAP Brazil, highlighted the role that the private sector plays in more reliable business environment in her keynote speech: “Not only do people have to take the lead, but companies have to as well”.
The Integrity Journey was co-created in 2018 by the Working Group on Strengthening Integrity in SMEs. The implementation started in 2019 with a call for collective action, in which more than 50 representatives from the private sector, public sector, civil society and academia participated. The participants committed to provide content and guidance for participating SMEs.
The engaged SMEs took the lead in their own sustainable business development and chose one out of four proposed business goals that best suited their aspirations: participating in a tendering process; interacting with public officers; supplying goods and services for large companies; or receiving investments.
The Integrity Journey includes ten mandatory steps: participating in two webinars about risk assessment and management, making use of innovative tools such as TheIntegrityApp, participating in the online version of the Alliance for Integrity’s corruption prevention training programme and participating in a business mentoring session. The business mentoring session allowed SMEs to pose specific questions to experienced compliance experts.
After a nine-month learning process, twelve companies completed the Integrity Journey. The outcomes were perceived as very fruitful for the participating companies. Jessica Souza from AmbarTech mentioned that the programme was crucial for the elaboration of a business risk management system. Cynthia Morais from Duofértil emphasised that her company has changed. “It is much more transparent now”, she said. The results of the joint engagement in the Integrity Journey show that integrity can be a key factor for business sustainability and development.
Authors: Fabiana Dias and Fernando Orn, Susanne Friedrich