Raising Awareness and Preventing Corruption in SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dominate the business landscape, create a significant share of global GDP and drive job growth and innovation. Yet they often lack the resources necessary to keep abreast of best practices in anti-corruption and compliance. As their exposure to corruption risks is typically comparable to that of larger companies, this makes them particularly vulnerable to bribery and corruption.
To help bridge this gap, the Toolkit for raising awareness and preventing corruption in SMEs identifies actionable ways in which governments and other stakeholders can engage SMEs in the fight against corruption. It explains how to design initiatives to support SMEs in understanding their risk exposure and adopting effective anti-corruption measures. It also identifies which entities – from government authorities to business and civil society organisations – are best positioned to implement them. It offers a set of anti-corruption awareness-raising initiatives that have proven effective across various industries and countries. For each initiative, the toolkit offers case studies detailing where and how it has been successfully implemented.
This study forms part of a two-part project on corporate anti-corruption measures to support sustainable business, prepared with the support of the Government of Sweden. The second study, entitled Anti-corruption compliance in times of crisis: Building resilience and seizing opportunities, assesses the impact of crises, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, on anti-corruption compliance objectives, resources and operations. It evaluates whether the crisis generated challenges or opportunities for businesses in the area of anti-corruption compliance, and whether it led to long-term, structural changes. The paper offers recommendations for companies to improve their responses to corruption risks during times of crisis, and for governments to better support companies in this context.
Bringing together governments, international and business organisations, and companies, roundtable panellists discussed how to support and incentivise anti-corruption compliance programmes, and compliance challenges and opportunities presented in crisis contexts.