Ethics on business

Ethics on business

Introduction to the Course

Welcome to the FINPYME Integrity MOOC on Business Ethics for SMEs.

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are considered the engine of economic growth around the world. They account for almost ninety percent of all global businesses and employ approximately sixty percent of the global workforce. They are key drivers of domestic employment and revenue growth provided that they can operate and innovate in open, transparent business environments.

In emerging market economies, the costs of corruption and unethical business practices are very high – they divert company resources from value-creating activities and deter much needed investment. SME’s are particularly vulnerable to these impacts and therefore have much to gain by contributing to an ethical business environment.

Business ethics refers to the application of ethical principles and values in a business setting. It involves the adoption of business polices and practices that promote the ethical conduct of individuals and organizations. However, ethical business conduct goes above and beyond mere legal and regulatory compliance; it requires a commitment to the principles of honesty, fairness, integrity, transparency and accountability in all business decisions, particularly those that affect stakeholders.

Responsible companies demonstrate this commitment through a structured and systematic approach to developing an ethical culture. This usually involves the development of a set of standards or a code grounded in the company’s values, the implementation of the organizational infrastructure to reinforce these values and an accountability system that is based on transparency. These are the main components of a business ethics programme.

This course provides SMEs with a roadmap for systematically developing a business ethics programme using the FINPYME Integrity and Business Ethics Toolkit.


The objective of this course is to provide SMEs with a guide to enable them to develop their own business ethics program. By the end of this course, you should have developed an ethics program for your company or at the very least, identified the key elements necessary to build one with your team.

This course will help you to answer the following questions:

  • Why should an SME implement a business ethics program?
  • How do I implement an ethics program given the business environment in which I operate?
  • What aspects of business ethics should I focus on in my company?
  • How do I engage and gain the support of others?
  • How do I develop a code of ethics and align other business policies to this code?
  • What training should be provided and to whom in order to embed the program in the company?

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of business ethics to SMEs
  • Appreciate the benefits of implementing a business ethics programme for your company
  • Identify your organization’s key stakeholders and how they impact / are impacted by your organization
  • Assess the ethical risks faced by your organization
  • Develop a strategic vision for your organization that is grounded in ethical values
  • Prepare your organization for implementing a business ethicsprogramme
  • Develop the required organizational systems and processes needed for an effective ethics programme
  • Design an implementation plan for your ethics programme

Agenda and Methodology

The course is divided into 7 modules.

At the end of each course there is a short assessment to evaluate your understanding of the key concepts.

To achieve a certificate at the end of the course, you must complete all the module assessments. The course is designed to be completed in four weeks if you can dedicate at least three and half hours per week. However, there is no time limit for completing the MOOC and participants can work at their own pace.

The modules to be covered are:

  • Business Ethics and SMEs
  • Developing An Ethics Programme for Your Company
  • Business Analysis
  • Strategic Vision
  • Preparing a Business Ethics Programme for Your Organization
  • Internal Organization
  • Implementation

The course methodology combines:

  • Short videos that highlight situations, key issues and content, as well as opinions of experts in the region.
  • Selected readings that have the bulk of theoretical and conceptual elements of the course.
  • Cases that allow for an appreciation of the realities facing Latin American and Caribbean businesses

For questions or more information, contact us at this email: