Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) - Phase I

The overall objective of SCORE is to assist SMEs in becoming more sustainable through being cleaner, more productive and competitive, as well as providing more sustainable and decent work.

Project description

Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme is a global technical assistance programme of the International Labour Organization (ILO) that supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow and contribute to creation of more and better jobs by improving their competitiveness through better quality, productivity and workplace practices. ILO certified SCORE trainers provide training to managers and employees in the participating enterprises on specific SCORE modules applying a combination of class-room training and on-site coaching to meet the specific needs of individual enterprises. SCORE is particularly relevant for enterprises (between 50-250 employee size) facing internal challenges affecting its market competitivenes such as quality, productivity, energy inefficient production practices, environmental pollution, production waste, health and safety or human resource management.

Background and rationale

Majority of employment for both women and men in the emerging economies, such as India, China, Indonesia and others are found in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In India, SMEs provide approximately 32 million jobs. It is obvious, that the key to sustainable economic development which leads to effective poverty reduction lies in competitive and growing SMEs. However, being more vulnerable to market shocks and uncertainties, in particular external global shocks, the SMEs in the emerging economies have been found to lack sound managerial capacity to sustain operations and, in the process, are compromising on the quality and number of the jobs.

For many years, the ILO has implemented productivity improvement programmes that help enterprises build systems to increase their productivity while improving workplace relations and working conditions. Based on the field lessons learnt globally and in particular successful model of the Factory Improvement Programme (FIP) and Start and Improvement Your Business (SIYB), ILO designed SCORE in 2009.

The ILO tripartite constituents adopted Conclusions Concerning the Promotion of Sustainable Enterprises’ at the International Labour Conference in 2007, following which ILO developed the strategic framework on Development of Sustainable Enterprises. The SCORE programme falls under this framework.

Project strategy

The ultimate beneficiaries of this project are workers and management in small and medium sized enterprises that have between 50-200 employees, a size where most SME’s start creating a middle management layers and have the necessary capacities to absorb new approaches and methodologies in their operations.

In addition to strengthening the capacities of workers and management in SMEs to compete, the Project aims to reach service providers, cluster-level industry associations, policy makers and the mass media for promotion of good workplace practices.

The immediate objectives of this project would be:

  • Industry/ cluster associations can market and coordinate enterprise upgrading services to their local members
  • Service providers can effectively deliver training and advisory services for workplace upgrading on a sustainable basis.
  • Good workplace practices are shared and disseminated in collaboration with labour inspectorate services and mass media.

Key partners

SCORE India tripartite advisory group, chaired by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, meets on half-yearly basis to review progress and advise the SCORE India project team.