full screen background image
 


The Best-Run Businesses Run SAP
Virtual Press Office
H

Latest News

11 December 2015

Social entrepreneurship is driving growth in Africa and beyond

Developing Social enterprises can accelerate innovation and spur economic growth, according to Pfungwa Serima, Executive Chairman of SAP Africa.

Entrepreneurs are transforming business models and building new, strategic markets in a way, and at a pace, that large corporations and governments often cannot emulate. Moreover, corporate responsibility ensures sustainability says, Peter Conze, Country Director, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) South Africa, Lesotho & Botswana in a whitepaper on Social Responsibility in South Africa. Conze further elaborates,” Around the world, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their activities. They are striving to make their business decisions more sustainable by applying the principle of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the company, in the wider environment they operate in, and in their relationship with suppliers and customers. In line with their own economic interests, businesses – small and large, domestic and international – are starting to share responsibility for the ecological and social situation in their immediate environment. Examples include the protection of human rights, drawing up and implementing employment and environmental standards and minimising corruption. “

However, small businesses often fail at a critical stage in their growth phase due to inadequate operational backbone and inadequate guidance on how innovation comes into play for them. That’s where business incubators come to help: A recent report by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and FNB's Entrepreneurial Dialogues, State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa, indicated that “business incubators assist emerging companies to survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are most vulnerable. The incubation process improves the survival rate of start-up companies by assisting them in becoming financially viable, usually within two to three years”.

A critical gap in most emerging economies is a clear understanding of the environment in which entrepreneurs operate. Understanding what motivates entrepreneurs and supporting their businesses in the early stages will help the private sector set a successful path for longer term innovation and business growth, and will fundamentally change the scale of social impact like never before. Working with an ecosystem of partners who promote entrepreneurship and collaboratively support social enterprises will ensure a sustainable environment for these businesses to flourish.

Enterprise building is an important business focus for SAP, the company is committed to finding innovative ways to solve both social and business issues in Africa. The company believes the private sector plays a vital role in creating a level playing field, driving innovation, and building an environment that enhances education and entrepreneurship to foster economic growth and fosters this as part of its investments in Africa.

Nine young leaders recently participated in the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship, an initiative that was rolled out in Africa and India in collaboration with non-profit global social venture fund Acumen. Ninety percent of the participating entrepreneurs believed the programme contributed to the growth of their businesses, made significant progress in developing their company’s senior management, and helped drive new innovations. As a whole, the entrepreneurs improved their leadership skills in a number of areas, ranging from sharpening their pitching skills to potential investors, to taking a more strategic approach to operations to grow their businesses sustainably.

Another successful programme hosted by SAP Africa is the Social Sabbatical. The initiative piloted in 2012 in South Africa and as part of this programme, 12 SAP employees from around the world mentored selected entrepreneurs and shared their specific expertise in areas such as strategy, marketing, IT, finance and consulting to non-profit organisations, government agencies or educational institutions to help solve pressing business or organisational issues.

“These programs herald a new way of thinking, where we play a direct role in preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Our vision is to help the world run better and improve the lives of people in the communities in which we operate. This is our enduring cause, our higher purpose. By transforming the world of business, we are able to accelerate progress on significant causes that touch billions of people,” Serima said.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center.

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 293,500 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

# # #

Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

© 2015 SAP SE. All rights reserved. SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. Please see http://www.sap.com/corporate-en/legal/copyright/index.epx#trademark for additional trademark information and notices.

Note to editors:
To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.

For more information, visit the SAP Newsroom.

Follow SAP Africa on Twitter at @SAPAfrica

For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
SAP Africa (within SA): 0800 981334
SAP Africa (outside SA): +27 11 235 6045
Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 1 (800) 872-1SAP (1-800-872-1727)

Media Contacts:
Antonia Stafford Ashton, SAP Africa, +27 (21) 528 1700,
antonia.ashton@sap.com CAT
Mariaan Christian, FleishmanHillard, +27 (11) 548-2080,
christian.mariaan@fleishman.co.za CAT

Newsroom   |   Profile   |   Contacts   |   Website   |   ITNewsAfrica
                       
logo