Many companies implementing emerging technologies encounter barriers or objections from consumers or local stakeholders. “Social acceptance” is the result of a process where stakeholders and project leaders work together to find solutions to these barriers and objections. It is important to be aware that the stakeholders affected by a new product or process go way beyond the SME’s customer base. Involving stakeholders in a series of activities to establish relationships is essential – there are tools for this. Tools will enable SMEs to achieve legitimacy and credibility regarding the stakeholder, form a strong and well-communicated company mission statement and clear long-term vision and set up long-term connections with their stakeholders, resulting in trust.
This guide takes you through the context and the theory behind the social acceptance concept. It addresses SME managers and business support organisations, presenting a number of tools which can be useful for those launching new products or services in the bio-based economy, and beyond.
The tools can be applied by SME managers in North West Europe, but there are the property of their authors (see references).