We think small is beautiful 


At ORB, our passion for micro businesses certainly runs deep. As a founding member of the Micro Business Alliance, with our very own CEO Jill Poet serving on the steering committee, we’re dedicated to the unique contributions of micro businesses. 

Embracing the ethos of Small is Beautiful helps others recognise the immense value that micro businesses bring to our economy and society and reminds us to always nurture and support them.

So we are delighted and honoured that Tony Robinson OBE and Tina Boden have gifted the Small is Beautiful Roll of Honour to the Organisation for Responsible Businesses.

Organisations that share the same values may wish to consider registering as ORB Supporters or joining our Partnerships. Contact us for more information. We have ensured that the six specific values of Small is Beautiful are integrated within our basic membership criteria and the additional course, certification options, and assessment processes we offer. Find those six values below.

#PayIn30Days ALL suppliers ALL the time

Promote equality and diversity

A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay

Protecting our environment and communities

Unlimited growth is pathological

Small can make a difference and should be supported.

Why was Small is Beautiful launched?

In Tony’s words:

Ernst F. Schumacher published ‘Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered’ in 1973 – nearly fifty years ago. He conjectured then that many large corporations would never say ‘enough’ and would exploit employees and suppliers, engender inequality, and destroy our communities and the planet.
Sadly, that speculation has proved all too accurate.

Happily, there are a small number of large corporations and many medium-sized businesses which along with most small and micro business owners do believe in Schumacher’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ values.

It is important that we recognise these organisations and choose to do business with them.

The launch of the Small is Beautiful Roll of Honour was motivated by one of the most inspiring conferences I have ever attended, and the sad death a few years later of one of the co-founders of the event.

In 2015 I was fortunate to be asked to do my little ‘Micro is Magic’ show at the second ‘Small is Beautiful’ Conference in a prestigious Glasgow theatre with an enthusiastic group of speakers and audience of creative micro business owners from all over the world.

There was the shared belief at the Conference that we as micro business owners, in collaboration, can change the world for the better. Bigger is not always best for work and self-fulfilment, communities, and the environment. The pursuit of ever-increasing wealth is not the reason most people start their enterprises. Human activity shouldn’t be about the ‘rich get rich, and the poor get poorer’ (EF Schumacher & Leonard Cohen). The relentless pursuit of GDP, profits and ‘growth’ isn’t the only way ahead nor is it the best way. Smaller can be better.

As Schumacher said:

‘Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction’.

Roanne Dodds and Deborah Keogh showed that genius and that courage in co-founding and organising the Small is Beautiful Conference in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Sadly, in early 2017, the truly inspirational, warm-hearted, dancer, lawyer and creative, Roanne died, aged 52.