SME EnterPRIZE is the initiative launched by Generali in 2021 on the occasion of the Group’s 190th anniversary to promote a culture of sustainability among European SMEs.

The SME EnterPRIZE project was created with the intention to:

  • support SMEs in their sustainable transition, consistent with the European ambition to develop a greener and more inclusive economy
  • stimulate public debate on the importance of sustainability for SMEs, promoting further research on the subject
  • highlight significant examples of responsible business, recognising entrepreneurs that can become an inspirational model for others to follow.

SMEs collectively represent more than half of Europe’s GDP and 99% of companies in the EU, they are the bedrock of the European economy and are essential drivers of sustainable transition. However, with businesses under strain, now is the time for Europe to double down on keeping on a sustainable path. That means keeping environmental and societal goals, and SMEs, at the heart of major policy initiatives, from the Capital Markets Union, to the EU recovery plan, to the recently announced SME Relief Package and upcoming energy market reforms.

Launched on 12 May 2023, this year’s edition - the third one - will involve SMEs from ten European countries: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain. Through its distribution network, local partners, and the member associations of European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME, Generali aims at discovering local Sustainability Heroes who will be given special recognition at a dedicated event in Brussels this Autumn.

By partnering with SDA Bocconi – School of Management a dedicated White Paper and Research project will be published, to understand the challenges and opportunities Europe’s SMEs face in their sustainability journey. Generali has also established a strategic partnership with European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME, which is aimed at further reinforcing sustainability, competitiveness, and innovation in European SMEs.

Generali believes that Europe’s SMEs are essential to meet the EU’s ambition to build a greener and more inclusive economy. Across the past two years, SME EnterPRIZE reached over 13,000 SMEs in its search for Sustainability Heroes, and, with this edition, will have interviewed more than 2,000 SMEs as part of the White Paper research project.

Philippe Donnet, Generali Group CEO, said: “As Europe’s leading insurer, SMEs are an important segment of our business, as we provide certainty for them to plan their future. SME EnterPRIZE was born from our belief that supporting these businesses, which collectively represent more than half of Europe’s GDP and 99% of EU companies, must be addressed if Europe is going to build a greener and more inclusive economy in the future. SME EnterPRIZE is a project which captures a snapshot of where SMEs stand today in their sustainability journey, as we have reached out to over 13,000 in the previous two editions through our distribution networks, and looks at how institutions can help accelerate sustainability transition through policy choices – which is at the heart of SDA Bocconi’s research and White Paper. We believe that we must listen carefully and keep track of their progress – Europe’s sustainable future will depend on their success.”