Based on our and the consultancy firm Impact CSR's experience in developing practice-oriented courses in due diligence, we won the public tender to upgrade business developers from Denmarks Erhvervshuse in due diligence for sustainability.
The upskilling process, which was supported by the Danish Business Authority, lasted from October 2022 – February 2023.
The purpose of the course was to educate business developers from all Danish Business Houses in due diligence knowledge, methods and tools. After the course, they would be well equipped to get small and medium-sized companies started working with due diligence.
Today, SMVs are faced with increasing demands to be able to account for responsibility throughout the company's value chain, and it is therefore an important priority for the Danish Business Houses and the Danish Business Authority to help SMVs understand and live up to the requirements for sustainability due diligence.
Our focus has been to create an engaging upskilling process for Erhvervshusene with low-practical methods and tools that could easily be transferred to the business developers' daily practice.
After the course, the participants should not only have due diligence knowledge, but due diligence know-how.
In order to strengthen business developers' understanding of the due diligence process and the underlying international guidelines, the process was built around the six steps of the OECD Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct.
In continuation of the practice-oriented approach, a due diligence guide and a number of tools were developed during the upskilling process, which makes the otherwise - for many - difficult to access topic, more tangible.
In addition, introductory videos and business cases were made for each of the six steps of the due diligence process, which instead of just describing also shows how Danish SMEs have specifically approached due diligence.
The upskilling process also consisted of workshops and webinars, which aimed to give the business developers the content of the guide under their skin. The focus has been to activate the business developers through cases and practice exercises, where they got the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of using the tools in practice.
A total of 30 business developers from the six Business Houses in Denmark have been trained in practice-oriented methods and tools. They are now able to conduct a basic hedging and introduction to sustainability due diligence. The upskilling process has been well received by both participants and project managers, who highlight its skilled trainers and practice-oriented approach.
The process has resulted in Erhvervshusene launching the platform Sustainable Value Chains and that business developers are now ready throughout the country to help SMEs start working with due diligence for sustainability in the companies' local business houses.
We have found it very motivating that through our upskilling process we have not only helped the 30 business developers, but thereby also help spread the knowledge of due diligence and help many Danish companies get started with the important work.
Based on the process, we can increase small and large companies' understanding of how they work with sustainability due diligence and strengthen their ability to work with responsible business conduct throughout the value chain.
Is your organisation also interested in an upskilling process in due diligence? Or do you, after an introduction to due diligence at Erhvervshusene, need advice tailored to your company's needs?
We tailor counselling courses, where we both go all the way around and go in-depth, so you will be able to anchor due diligence in your daily work.
Would you like to get an insight into the tools that we and business developers from Danmarks Erhvervshuse use in our work with due diligence?
Then you can reach out to our due diligence expert, Silke Sønderstrup-Granquist. Send her an email, and she will provide you with the tools.
The due diligence tools are so useful that Erhvervsstyrelsen has also decided to make them available on their website, Virksomhedsguiden, where you can freely download them.