Due to the fact that the CSR is not part of the culture of the entrepreneurship of Crete, the Action Plan of the Region of Crete tries to put the foundations for introducing the Social Responsibility to Cretan entrepreneurship and create a new culture for competitiveness and sustainability in regional development. Thus, the Action Plan sets a vision and a strategic goal for CSR promotion to present and future regional entrepreneurship & development in Crete.

It introducing the establishment of administrative structures (Observatory of Business Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility) responsible for the CSR promotion in the island, ensuring the duration of CSR presence in regional economy. 

The Observatory of Business Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility, developed by Region of Crete, will be part of the “Entrepreneurship Support Unit” (ESU) that is in the process of planning and organising by Region of Crete. The establishment of the ESU has already been officially approved by the Regional Council (Decision no 134/2018, minutes 13/27-12-2018). This unit aims to inform companies, monitor entrepreneurship, help cooperation between companies, help cooperation of research and education establishments with companies, help innovation and promote all the aims of the Smart Specialisation Strategy. All the information will be organized on an electronic platform. In this context CSR is one of the factors relevant to the competitiveness of companies in Crete and it is high on the agenda of the Crete Region. 

The ESU will be established and operate as a Department of the Directorate of Development Planning of the Region of Crete. Because the Region of Crete is a Public Legal Entity the structures that are supporting CSR Observatory activities will have a permanent and long-term perspective.

The “Entrepreneurship Support Unit” in order to encourage and promote good business practices such as CSR, has to develop and operate an observatory, that will monitor enterpreneuership, with full inventory of initiatives taken by the business community and disclosure of the most ambitious projects. The ROAD CSR project gave the motive to the Region of Crete to take the CSR Observatory initiative for the promotion CSR in Crete which is almost unknown in regional economy and entrepreneurship. 

The services of the Action (Observatory of Business Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility) constitute a platform for creating synergies between different regional stakeholders interested in implementing corporate social responsibility principles. The Action will allow them to address their social, economic and environmental aims, whilst maximising their benefit. Value will be added by contributing to enterprises’ capacity to report and their increased commitment to CSR. This will be materialised by providing know-how on issues related to corporate social responsibility to enhance SMEs’ innovation and competitiveness.  

The Observatory will open the dialogue so that stakeholders may further their commitment to corporate social responsibility. It will also provide them with examples of best practices, factoring in the regional particularities of the Region of Crete, training and reporting material. The observatory will make use of all the material produced by Road CSR, the stakeholders involved and the experience gained by the permanent staff currently working on the project. 

For further inofrmation you can visit the CSR Observatory Platform available at the following link ris3.crete.gov.gr/eke/ or contact the project team of ROAD-CSR in the Region of Crete: Katerina Vlasaki (coordinator, [email protected]), Katerina Rousaki (communication manager, [email protected]) and Christos Bilios ([email protected]