​SAP commits annual $50K investment to fund New Zealand’s social enterprise sector

“The line between business outcomes and social outcomes is blurring."

Graeme Riley - Managing Director, SAP New Zealand

Graeme Riley - Managing Director, SAP New Zealand

SAP has announced a strategic partnership with Ākina Foundation, a leading charity dedicated to growing social enterprises across New Zealand.

Through the partnership SAP and Ākina aim to grow the sector by developing new market and investment opportunities for social enterprises, organisations that use business to solve social and environmental problems and benefit the community.

According to the tech giant, the two organisations will activate talent, raise awareness and build capability, as well as directly support existing and emerging social enterprises to prosper and increase their impact.

“The line between business outcomes and social outcomes is blurring,” says Graeme Riley, Managing Director, SAP New Zealand.

“Today, social impact and commercial success go hand in hand as more organisations align their business models toward a greater good.

“New Zealand’s work in this blended space is accelerating, with both established organisations and start-ups taking on social challenges and delivering successful businesses.

“SAP is thrilled to partner with a charity of such calibre as Ākina to help social entrepreneurs scale their impact in New Zealand and internationally.”

Riley says social entrepreneurship and enterprise is growing rapidly in New Zealand, with an “increasing demand” for specialised development and growth support.

As such, SAP will provide $50,000 annually, which Ākina will distribute across its core programmes to support social entrepreneurs and enterprises at all stages of their development, including the innovation process, skills and leadership development, start-up acceleration, impact modelling, growth services and investment readiness.

Additionally, SAP intends to act as a key advisor in the identification and implementation of a digital learning management system designed to help Ākina scale its reach and enable social entrepreneurs to develop the expertise and best practice they need to succeed.

“This is a sophisticated partnership that will provide critical funding to support social entrepreneurs and also much more,” adds Alex Hannant, CEO, Ākina Foundation.

“Through Ākina, SAP will be able to provide targeted business mentoring and technology assistance to make a real difference to start-ups grappling with multiple development challenges.

“By supporting high-potential social enterprises, SAP can help create a pipeline of innovative ventures that will be committed to delivering community impact for the long haul.

“I think it will also provide provocation and inspiration to their own business and people.”

Hannant says SAP staff have already begun mentoring and supporting social entrepreneurs in business planning for their products and services through Ākina, and will continue to do so as the partnership develops.

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