The Business Leaders Forum
The Business Leaders Forum: Companies Pioneer Corporate Social Responsibility in Serbia
“We want to show that we have business elite in the best and most noble sense,” said Neven Marinovic with the founding of the Business Leaders Forum—the first network of socially responsible companies in Serbia.
Fourteen national and international companies came together in Belgrade to sign a memorandum of understanding launching the initiative. The Business Leaders Forum will stimulate socially responsible practice among companies in Serbia, supporting and encouraging companies—and their employees—to contribute to social and environmental causes as part of their everyday operations. Through a unique resource center, consulting services, and training, the Forum will connect business leaders to government representatives and the nonprofit community to identify social and economic problems and find solutions to them.
Special guests at the launch of the BLF included British Ambassador Stephen Wordsworth; Flavia Klaus, Director of the Global Partners Network; Ben & Jerry’s co-founder, ISC board member and a pioneer of corporate social responsibility (CSR) Jerry Greenfield; USAID Mission Director Michael Harvey; and the Manager of Serbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Implementation Team arko Šunderić.
Such networking can help companies share resources and ideas while giving them opportunities for training and improvement—and can help them have greater impact in a specific area or with a particular strategy. The Forum is also a member of the Global Partners Network and the International Business Leaders Forum, through which Serbian companies will be able to connect to businesses in over 70 countries committed to corporate social responsibility.
Jerry Greenfield was “pleased and surprised” by the commitment of Serbian companies to the Forum. “I’ve been very impressed that these companies would be interested in taking a leadership position and in making a pubic commitment to have their businesses be involved in an initiative to bring corporate social responsibility to Serbia. It’s not an easy thing to be a pioneer, to be out in front and to speak publicly, particularly for big businesses. It’s easier for big businesses to not put themselves at risk by stating a position.”
The Business Leaders Forum was organized by the nonprofit Smart Kolektiv, with support from the Institute for Sustainable Communities and USAID. For more information or to join the Forum, click here.
Business Leaders Forum Members
- RDP B92
- British American Tobacco
- Coca-Cola Hellenic
- Droga Kolinska
- Erste Banka
- Henkel Merima
- Holcim Srbija
- KMPG DOO Beograd
- Lafarge BFC
- Phillip Morris International
- Société Générale Banka Srbija
- U.S. Steel Serbia
- VIP Mobile