12 SAP experts drawn from fields including human resources, finance, IT and other business areas have completed a month-long program in Kenya. SAP, a global business solutions firm, positioned the 12 employees with four social enterprises operating in Kenya.
The program, dubbed the SAP Social Sabbatical, saw 4 local organizations, Juhudi Kilimo, African Management Initiative, Open Capital and Sanergy gain from best practices when it comes to business processes and solutions implemented by the team. The program’s implementing partner is PYXERA Global, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. that helped facilitate the selection of the organizations participating in the program.
Andrew Waititu, MD of SAP East Africa said that the Social Sabbatical Program not only provides an effective avenue for SAP to give back to the communities in which it operated, but, to gain meaningful insight and feedback from the field that will go a long way in customizing and improving SAP solutions globally.
The organizations that benefited from this year’s Kenya chapter of the program were:
- African Management Initiative, which supplements learning institutions in the training of business leaders in response to the growing middle class population. It hopes to train one million African managers by 2023
- Open Capital Advisors, a client facing business that provides financial consulting services to high impact small and medium sized enterprises.
- Juhudi Kilimo which enables farmers to come together and guarantee easy access to loans on their technology platform. Juhudi Kilimo currently provides loans to 30,000 farmers and is targeting 100,000 in the next year.
Jim Tubman, Technical Lead at SAP, said the team was able to help Juhudi Kilimo shorten the loan application process from two and half weeks to just a week, helping them better meet the needs of farmers, who need such loans in the shortest time possible. SAP also helped Juhudi automate a paper-based procurement system which was leaving some of Juhudi’s employees under a heap of paper work.
- Sanergy has been providing toilets to informal settlements through a franchise arrangement. The firm currently provides 400 toilets, translating into 400 jobs with Sanergy who collects 200,000 tonnes of waste annually, which is then processed into fertiliser.
- Dharshan Anandappa, an Information Lifecycle Management expert similarly remarked that the SAP Social Sabbatical program is not just a corporate social responsibility program like any other, but a genuine support program with true strategic rationale.
SAP chose a number of Kenyan businesses for inclusion in its Social Sabbatical program based on their social impact and their focus on strengthening entrepreneurship in Kenya. Additionally, organizations selected for the first round were those whose business challenges matched with available SAP team skills. More businesses will be covered in the next round of the program.