IN HASTE TO NORMALITY
By EEN Malta Coordinator, Brigitte Tanti. Featured on The Malta Business Weekly on 28/05/2020
Our sacrifices during the current crisis would have been all in vain if we ignore the lessons learnt, in our haste to return to the normal we were used to! We had the world before COVID-19 and we have now the COVID-19 economy, which is not going to disappear in a couple of months and it’s going to take a very long time. The problem is we don’t know how long this will take.
With the relaxation of pandemia measures it might look like the world is like it was before, but we all know that it is really not like it was before! It is a new world, a new economy but nobody knows exactly what this actually means. Depending on which part of the world you are, you’ll find yourself navigating around a particular COVID-19 phase: your business might be located where there is business re-opening but your clients might be in a location where the virus is still spreading alarmingly and hence remain in a containment phase. How do entrepreneurs navigate through all this uncertainty? They ran the business before COVID-19, they manage it through COVID-19 and they will manage it after COVID-19; but whatever that “after” means, that is also another big question.
However, there is good coming from this disruptive scenario and this is the chance being given to make us run responsible businesses. For instance, the nuance of sustainability has been around for many years but we now know, this cannot remain a nice add-on! This key factor has been iterated by the UN itself some weeks ago, through a publication which introduces the SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] Ambition. Businesses need now, more than ever, to raise their ambition, embrace new technologies and deeply integrate sustainability goals into their business strategy, operations, and stakeholder engagement.
There are a lot of learnings coming from COVID-19 but the biggest takeaway is that those businesses that reacted relatively well to the disruption, were those responsible companies that, in the pre-COVID days, had already embraced sustainable and responsible business practices. This rough time will definitely accelerate the need, but also the will, for others to become responsible in the way they run their business.
The Enterprise Europe Network [EEN] in Malta will continue to guide and support the Maltese business community on how to align their operations with such critical goals. We live right now in a COVID-19 economy and we need to navigate that towards a successful future after Covid. Even when the ultimate solution to the COVID-19 pandemia is made available, businesses now know that external factors can change their commercial scenario overnight and the lesson learnt is to be prepared for any next crisis by adopting sound operational and corporate practices to fool-proof, as much as possible, the business they have so painstakingly built over the years, from catastrophic impacts over which they have no control.
EEN Malta aligns its services to accompany its clients through their journey into the post-COVID economy, through various initiatives, and help them embrace key practices like sustainability, circular economy and digitalisation. Network-building [even if virtual] and consolidation of business leads are even more critical now to start-ups, micro enterprises and small businesses, and Enterprise Europe Network is the support partner your business needs right now. The following are some events on our calendar, so do drop us an email and we’ll get back to you with more details.
- E² Tech4SmartCities 2020 – Smart Energy Efficiency Technologies for Cities on 24 June
- ICT Spring 2020 on 7-8 July
- Technology & Business Cooperation Days on 13-16 July
- Sustainability and Circular Economy for Food Technology B2B on 8 October