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As we ramp up for an exciting year for SAP Community Network, we also take a look back at our 2009 programs and achievements.  One program I want to highlight is our Active Contributor program and the goal we set for the community to help support the PlaNet Finance program globally.  

The life blood of a community – what makes a community interesting and exciting to members and keeps people coming back – are contributions.  That’s why SAP Community Network focuses on those members that contribute most back to the community.   Our Active Contributors program is an elite group of SCN members that we like to feature to regularly because they are the most supportive, skilled, committed, and passionate of our members.  Active Contributors not only benefit from great information and answers to tough questions in the community, they are the ones that put themselves out there on a regular basis to answer the tough questions, give great answers in forums that are rewarded with points, write insightful blogs, or contribute excellent content to our wiki topic pages. 

The SCN community is committed to our Active Contributors.  An SCN member becomes an Active Contributor when they have contributed enough to the community to receive 250 contribution points.  Last year for the first time, we decided to keep our Active Contributor numbers as fresh as possible by resetting the counter every year.  When we did that, we set a goal for ourselves of reaching 3,000 Active Contributors by the end of the year.

You’ll also remember that we announced that, if we reached milestones toward that goal, SAP would make financial contributions to PlaNet Finance.  We nearly hit our goal – actually reaching 2,773 active contributors.   

Congratulations to all 2,773 who reached Active Contributor status in 2009!

SAP is committed to the PlaNet Finance program, so, despite not quite reaching the full 3,000 active contributors on SCN, I’m pleased to report that SAP awarded the full donation of €200,000 to PlaNet Finance

We’re excited and pleased to show this level of commitment to this important program.  I want to thank each of you for your great contributions to the community throughout the year, whether it was sharing expert knowledge, answering calls to tell your SCN stories, creating videos and podcasts, and more. We’re continuing to grow the Active Contributor program in 2010, so watch for new developments in the coming weeks. 

The active contributor tie-in and monetary donation is only one of the ways we’re New SAP Community PlaNet Finance Program to Benefit Under-served Markets. The shea nut trade initiative is a unique combination of SAP + PlaNet Finance + Agricultural Industry collaborating together to benefit a developing country.  Because of the number of pieces involved, it’s been a long and exhaustive process to conduct interviews and workshops to help define the project scope, detail processes, create project plans, and set objectives.

If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to read these two posts from Marie Pons, a PlaNet Finance rural microfinance expert who is onsite in Ghana with women who are harvesting and processing the nuts: Shea Project – Impressions from the field and A Day with a Shea Woman Collector

There are 3,000 Shea women (shea nut harvesters) that this initiative is targeting to try to increase their shea product income by at least 30% through microfinancing, education, and information technology. 

In addition to directly supporting the Shea women – such as providing them with mobile phones – the initiative also aims to support local microfinancing institutions (MFIs). Improving operations efficiencies of MFIs has the indirect result of supporting their customers, like the Shea women.

For example, this picture from Shea Project – Impressions from the field is a local MFI who’ll be running the Simple Loan Tracking System – a tool being developed by the SCN community which is aimed at improving internal operations to help lower costs. Check out a post by Simple Loan Tracking for more info.

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    Thanks for acknowledging our community’s part in this initiative.  As we approach Ada Lovelace Day recognizing women in technology, it is particularly exciting to see the Shea women enabled in their businesses by mobile technology.  Having spoken to Marie Pons of Planet Finance a number of times and hearing and reading her eye-witness accounts, our SCN community can really be proud to be associated with enabling Ghana’s newest “technical women”.  
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  2. Gaurav Patwari
    Dear all Contributors,

        I am feeling honored to be a part of this. I would like to congratulate all the other contributors for their contribution and would urge all of them to keep the spirit of sharing as high as they have kept last year.

    Last but not least will take opportunity to congratulate the team of SCN for their continuous support & co-operation and also wish all the very best for coming future.

    Cheers,
    Gaurav Patwari

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  3. Martin English
    I contribute to SCN / SDN for lots of reason, and I’ll be the first to admit some of these reasons  are not very altruistic at all (i.e. showing off my knowledge, a bit of extra status in the company or the community etc).

    However, the main reason is that I learn so much from just browsing the community, let alone the feedback I get when I get actively involved.  In my case, becoming an ‘Active Contributor’ was more or less an accidental byproduct of this.

    Having my relatively selfish actions (i.e. picking the brains of well over 2 million fellow SAPers) result in a contribution to such a worthwhile cause makes me very happy indeed 🙂

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