Ahead of the Game: USA Based SMEs and Sustainable Initiatives How Small and Medium Size Enterprises Finance Environmental Practices, Heber Sanchez-Martinez

Small and medium size enterprises (SME) are often thought of as innovators and industry
disruptors. Under that premise, this research looks broadly at SMEs as innovators in sustainability-oriented initiatives (SOI). The study’s conceptual framework looks at SMEs from multiple angles through academic research and publications, while it also investigates sustainable finance initiatives in some of the G7 economies, and specifically in the United States. Through Babbie’s Mixed-Mode Interview Survey, this research looks at four (4) well established SMEs in the USA, across different industries, and explores their SOI, as well as top-leadership’s points of view on sustainable finance tools, and the implications of green or sustainable practices at the business level. The primary focus of the research was to find sustainability-oriented initiatives in USA based SMEs, that were developed in spite of lacking sustainable finance tools from government or banks. The key findings point to the incorporation of SOIs by SMEs through self-financing, instead of turning to government or creditors. Furthermore, the findings indicate that SOIs in SMEs are specifically motivated by savings and or capital returns, instead of solely environmental stewardship. Lastly, the research brings to light the reality that most companies start small, hence understanding their environmental initiatives and supporting SMEs at the small and middle stages might instill sustainability driven values within the industry giants of tomorrow.

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