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What do coffee based cosmetics, pay-as-you-wish book vending machines, and a franchise network for free vocational schools have in common?

They are all businesses recently selected to be one of the 50 emerging entrepreneurs as part of a new partnership between SAP and Endeavor Brazil called SAP Expoentes. SAP and Endeavor are helping entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses in a sustainable and responsible way through targeted mentorship and technology. The companies are unique in that they not only strive to run great businesses; they are also helping industries grow in a sustainable manner and driving social impact in one of the world’s fastest growing emerging economies in the world. Earlier this year the program was launched as part of SAP’s Emerging Entrepreneur Initiative (EEI), currently being piloted in Brazil and India.

What makes these emerging entrepreneurs unique?

When selecting entrepreneurial candidates for EEI we look at leaders with the entrepreneurial spirit and vision to grow their business beyond initial commercialization. It is also important that their business is focused on sustainable growth, leveraging technology where they can to succeed. Finally, they must address key societal issues in their country. This could involve creating much needed quality jobs, providing innovative ways to bring healthcare and education to underserved regions, and being a role model for future entrepreneurs.

Vanessa Vilela, CEO of Kapeh, is an example of the vision we had in mind. A biochemist by degree, she wanted to unite her passion for cosmetics with the tradition of coffee making in Brazil. She launched her business in Minas Gerais, the largest coffee producing region in the world, where her family has been in the coffee business for generations. With very few financial resources and strong determination she created Brazil’s first cosmetics brand made 100% out of coffee beans. Her vision for Kapeh is to be as successful as Natura, one the most admired cosmetics brands in Brazil today.

What does SAP offer SAP Expoentes entrepreneurs?

SAP has partnered with Endeavor in Brazil to build a team of mentors around the entrepreneurs and to evaluate their technology needs as they grow their businesses. An online platform, powered by Endeavor, will provide the key access point for the 50 entrepreneurs, where they will find peers and industry- and SAP mentors to help with their specific challenges. As the Executive Sponsor on Technology Solutions for this program SAP’s Sanjay Poonen met with the SAP Expoentes candidates at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio recently to better understand how SAP can help these emerging leaders. “I am really excited about sharing my knowledge and network to help these innovative folks and others like them to be successful.”

Vanessa from Kapeh mentioned that her key challenges in growing her business beyond its current size is technology, especially in her business, where every ingredient is traced to the source, and with increasing responsibility to manage her employee base and company finances. With SAP and Endeavor helping her, she hopes to become a significant retail player in Brazil soon.

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Over the next 6 months SAP and Endeavor will work with these companies to identify key technology and business needs, culminating in an International Selection Panel in November to select up to 20 of the 50 companies to receive a custom package of SAP technology and mentorship in addition to the services the 50 companies currently receive.

Join me in following the SAP Expoentes entrepreneurs over the coming months and check out our blogs regularly in SAP’s Sustainability community http://scn.sap.com/community/sustainability and @sapcsr, @sustainableSAP, @nvanexel

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