The Salerno Declaration

Oct 11, 2018

Located among the spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast is the University of Salerno. Although the province of Salerno is known for its bustling tourism, the world’s first medical school, Schola Medica Salernitana, is credited to have started there. The region has seen its share of earthquakes and plagues, including the occupation by foreign rule. On October 4, 2018, another seismic shock quietly affected small and medium enterprises, globally. There were no visible signs of calamity but what was adopted may help shape how SMEs are supported and gave a lifeline too much-needed clarity on their guiding principles.

What is now called the Salerno University Declaration directly addresses the future of entrepreneurship as we know it. Professor Roberto Parente, Full Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Salerno and ICSB Global Member, and his co-chairs Drs. Ki-Chan Kim, Winslow Sargeant, and Ayman Tarabishy convened a global gathering of small business, academic, and government leaders from six (6) continents. Also in attendance were invited speakers, David Storey, Chantal Line Carpentier, Claudio Gubitosi, Charles Matthews (ICSB Wilford White Fellow), Hermawan Kartajaya, and Guiseppe Roma.  Ahmed Osman, President-elect of ICSB strongly supported this declaration.

According to many in the audience, it was clear that this was no longer your grandparent’s view of small business and job creation.  Salerno declared that “The launch of the successful MSMEs International Day, ratified by the United Nations General Assembly on February 6, 2017, was a powerful reinforcement of the important role that small and medium enterprises play in the global economy. The Declaration calls upon Future Generations of Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Managers to continue to increase economic and business development in a synergistic manner with the efficient use of human resources and natural resources to help positively impact society.”

At Salerno (for the first time in Italy), the conference theme “Social Innovation and Humane Entrepreneurship: From Policy to Action” championed the case that a common global narrative around MSMEs is only possible if guiding principles were adopted.  It should be made clear that guiding principles were not proposed but only the acknowledgment that there was a critical need for them. The failure to put in a place a process that would determine MSMEs guiding principles would severely hurt the drive to achieve the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is not an effort Salerno University can carry alone. Salerno calls specifically for “Global partners with us, will help raise awareness for this global narrative.”

So there you have it. The cry of remember Salerno will now include working together across geographical boundaries and ideologies to support MSMEs like never before. As an attestor to this declaration, the charge and shout of “REMEMBER SALERNO!” was enthusiastically embraced.

ICSB stands shoulder-to-shoulder with unwavering support for the University of Salerno and the Salerno Declaration.