The Santa Cruz Declaration on Local Green Enterprise

The following text was originally drafted in Santa Cruz, Trinidad and Tobago on 3 November 2017, by a group of manufacturers, producers, business owners, entrepreneurs, innovators, local communities, and civil society from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mongolia, Peru, Saint Lucia, Senegal, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Uganda.

  1. We have come together in recognition that local green enterprises stand at the frontline of the transition to inclusive, green and resilient economies and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We are here to demonstrate and build support from our respective countries, regions and spheres of influence for local green enterprises to lead, shape and accelerate the transition.
  2. Every community on the planet faces, to a greater or lesser extent, a common set of intertwined socioeconomic challenges. Vulnerabilities to climate and natural disasters, collapsing biodiversity, unequal and stagnant economic development, and exclusionary governance.
  3. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 95% of the world’s private enterprises, and provide 60% of private sector employment. SMEs are the engines of prosperity, job creation and innovation. We deliver economic, social and environmental benefits to our communities and countries. We are the economies of today and tomorrow.
  4. Learning how to build greener, fairer and more resilient economies is the biggest challenge of our times, but it cannot be achieved without empowering SMEs as innovative local actors to deliver social and environmental transformation.
  5. We stand together in solidarity. We invite fellow business people, governments, civil society, academia and local communities to partner with us. We offer the opportunity to:
  • Partner with green SMEs and build a social movement in service of inclusive green and resilient economies that deliver local value and sustainable livelihoods, all around the world.
  • Champion SMEs as an engine of disruptive innovation, invention and creative development. Most of the businesses which will drive the economies of 2040 don’t exist yet, and all of them will have started out as SMEs.
  • Rethink systems within our sphere of direct and indirect influence that affect the functioning of SMEs, sustainable practices and business models.