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SAP Emerging Entrepreneur Initiative


Empowering the future of business and society with SAP’s technology, talent, and capital


Our CSR approach is based on our vision to help the world run better by improving people’s lives. We believe 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. As such, we must work collaboratively to find solutions that help emerging entrepreneurs who have the necessary skills to succeed in the global economy.

To support the roll out of the global CSR strategy, SAP will initiate strategic pilot initiatives to provide support to entrepreneurs and help strengthen their infrastructure in the key emerging markets of Brazil and India, and soon to be Kenya between 2012 - 2015

Strategy Framework

SAP’s investment approach for the emerging entrepreneur initiative focuses on two critical pillars:

1. Invest in the local infrastructure for emerging entrepreneurs to succeed:

A critical gap in most emerging economies is a clear understanding of the environment in which entrepreneurs operate, specifically concerning the regulatory environment and financial access. In addition, there is no structured dialogue between all the actors involved in accelerating growth for emerging entrepreneurs. SAP will work with its backbone partners to tap the collective intelligence of businesses, governments, and citizens to understand what small businesses truly need, and how we can help them overcome the challenges they face. For example, understanding the policy environment for entrepreneurs will make it easier to target solutions to cut the lead time for a new business in half.

2. Provide resources to help emerging entrepreneurs grow their businesses in a sustainable and responsible manner:

By addressing their barriers to success, SAP will directly support select entrepreneurs with SAP’s expertise, technology, and financial support.  This also involves hosting networking events and meetings at key SAP events, and bringing together key stakeholders around key topics that require a collective approach. There is a focus especially on building a mentorship program aimed at training industry mentors and SAP employees to leverage their expertise and experience to support the growth of the entrepreneurs. And throughout the course of the initiative, a select group will receive a SAP entrepreneur package with a growth grant, technology donation, and exclusive SAP mentorship.

Partnering for the Future

SAP is working together with its innovative non-profit organization partners, Endeavor in Brazil, and Network for National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) in India, to drive thought leadership engagements and continuous awareness about the key factors that enable a successful environment for emerging entrepreneurs in their markets. Activities include roundtable sessions, entrepreneurial summits, dashboard analysis, and stakeholder reports that will drive more engagement with media and key influencers.

  Selection Criteria 

The entrepreneurs participating in the Emerging Entrepreneur Initiative operate at the cutting edge of business and society. SAP supports emerging for-profit entrepreneurs who have a proven record of concept and ability to scale, the ability to use SAP technology to help run their business in responsible and sustainable way, and that drive social impact and sustainable economic growth through their employment practices or other social benefits that are provided through their business.

In India, up to five small businesses will be selected by SAP to receive SAP technology donations in 2014. In addition, SAP and NEN will work with more than 100 candidates, who will receive mentorship and training, to ensure they can be future candidates for the initiative.

In Brazil, Endeavor has helped SAP select the 50 top candidates, called SAP Expoentes. They will receive online mentorship, in-person mentorship and training, and other business and networking engagement opportunities. Up to 20 of the candidates will receive a technology donation from SAP, exclusive mentorship, and an innovation grant. All winners will be announced in 2014.



Reflections on my visit to Brazil’s Social Entrepreneurs Summit and their use of technology by Sanjay Poonen

Funding, Mentoring, and Technology Support for Entrepreneurs in Brazil and India by Susan Galer

SAP Expoentes: Get ready for the next generation of entrepreneurs in Brazil by Nicolette Van Exel

Supporting Small Business That Tackle Big Problems by Nicolette VanExel


Endeavor Global

Endeavor Brasil 

Network for National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN)

Former Member

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