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          Generali’s Jean-Laurent Granier: SMEs are essential for a sustainable Europe

          Jean-Laurent Granier, Country Manager Generali France & Europ Assistance addressed the Politico 2022 Competitive Europe Summit today to underline the central role small and medium-sized enterprises have in shaping a sustainable future across Europe and how sustainability will also be central to their own success. “SMEs have a genuine and great awareness of ESG challenges and know they will be increasingly dependent on sustainability reporting for the future of their business. We need to support them to take steps in that direction.”

           

          Granier detailed the link between Generali and SMEs, as the insurer seeks to support both their, and Europe’s, sustainability journey. “Focusing on SMEs and being their Lifetime Partner is extremely important to us. We have two different roles; protecting their activity as an insurer and as an institutional investor,” shared Granier. Reflecting on how these roles can be supporting from a regulatory perspective, Granier noted “we welcome the intention of the Commission to evolve our regulatory framework, Solvency II, to support investment in the real economy, in coherence with the green and digital transition.

           

          In addition, Granier set out how Generali is shining a light on the sustainable transition of SMEs. “We have engaged 6,000 SMEs through SME EnterPRIZE to recognize the small and medium businesses with the most sustainable behaviour. In France this has been supported by government and ministers.”

          Concluding the session, Granier also shared a concrete example from Generali’s French business highlighting how private sector can make an impact. “We decided to partner with Sanofi, Capgemini and Orange to create an accelerator, Future4care, for digital health start-ups, helping them compete across Europe. This is an example of what we can do.”

           

          This October, Generali will present the second edition of SME EnterPRIZE, which recognises Europe’s most sustainable SMEs, drawn from 9 member states. The event, to be held in Brussels will bring together the political and academic community, together with SMEs themselves, to also set-out a path to overcome the challenges that Europe’s SMEs face at both EU and national level.