SAP Social Sabbatical to Support Local Entrepreneurs

SAP Social Sabbatical to Support Local Entrepreneurs

Twelve SAP employees from around the world in SA for a month to help address NPO business challenges.
Monday, October 28, 2013 - 2:20pm

CAMPAIGN: SAP Corporate Social Responsibility

CONTENT: Article

Following a successful pilot launch in 2012, a group of 12 SAP employees from around the world – including a software engineer from India, a marketing manager from the US and a quality controller from China – have once again travelled to Johannesburg to spend a month working with four local non-profit organisations that support local entrepreneurs.

The 12 are part of a 72-employee-strong SAP programme, the Social Sabbatical, which matches talented high-potential employees with entrepreneurs and small businesses in emerging markets. A relatively new area for international corporate volunteering, the SAP Social Sabbatical initiative was launched in 2012, with 30 employees in Brazil, India and South Africa, and the company believes last year's project played a role in the company being awarded the Top Employer in Africa award earlier this year.

"Most of the world's most pressing problems require more than a few hours' volunteering," said Pfungwa Serima, CEO of SAP Africa. "A group of talented employees working together to solve a problem in a foreign setting can not only strengthen communities, but help mould these individuals as future leaders. SAP's Africa Social Sabbatical programme allows us to provide our people with innovative development opportunities while strengthening entrepreneurship in emerging economies."

The Social Sabbatical team will be in Johannesburg until 8 November, and will be working with Awethu, Endeavor, enke and the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Economy (CSESE) to help solve some of their most pressing business needs. Their tasks will be similar to those thousands of SAP employees face daily: they will have to learn about the needs of the customer, work in cross-functional teams and complete a set of deliverables within a tight timeframe.

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