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Almost a year after  announcing SAP’s investment in emerging entrepreneurs to drive innovation, job creation and economic growth, Cristina Palmaka, SAP Brazil’s new Managing Director, awards the first Technology Awards to five promising entrepreneurs. Winners receive a Business One implementation and exclusive mentorship support for three years. These young leaders are part of SAP’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Initiative, a social impact accelerator to propel economic growth in emerging economies. Participating companies are set to transform Brazil’s economy and SAP is proud to support them on their journey.

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What’s In It for SAP?

In Brazil alone, growth in the SME sector for SAP was over 60% in 2013. Enterprise building is clearly an important business focus for SAP in its third most important emerging market. Entrepreneurs are transforming business models and building new strategic markets in a way, and at a pace, that large corporations and governments often cannot. However, small businesses often fail at a critical stage in their growth due to inadequate operational backbone and inadequate guidance on how innovation comes into play for them. Our small business management solutions and innovation portfolio with HANA, Cloud and Mobile, will significantly improve their success rate and extends the runway for future SME customers for SAP.

Creating Shared Value

Opening up SAP’s vast ecosystem of employees, customers and partners allows us to put SAP’s expertise to use in new and innovative ways which will help unleash much needed capital, more so than purely through philanthropic and sponsorship dollars for campaigns that we already see so many of today. And with increasing competition to attract and retain great talent, this is exactly the kind of program that existing employees and millennial job seekers are drawn to. This program will help position SAP as a great place to work, and inspire our existing employees to work with these innovative small businesses.

How Does the Accelerator Work?

SAP’s accelerator model focuses on selecting businesses that are high-impact, set to scale using enterprise technology, and they all drive social transformation, in their industry, through their products and services, and through their ability to generate much needed jobs. Technology and mentorship is the cornerstone of the accelerator model, with additional access to impact investors provided through an Impact Capital network that will be available through SAP’s non-profit entrepreneur partners. Teaming young leaders up with customers, mentors and with impact investors from around the world, SAP and its non-profit partners help pre-screened candidates build a strong business pipeline and foundation for growth. A select number of candidates in the program receive Business One and a series of mentorship and design thinking opportunities. To date, over five hundred businesses have been screened in Brazil, over fifty selected, and last week the first five winners were announced to receive a SAP Technology Prize at the SAP Forum in Brazil. India is following close behind with two potential winners in the coming months.

The model rests on three pillars: Expertise, providing mentorship and design thinking support, Technology, providing select Business One implementations, and providing education and access to SAP’s suite of Innovation technologies such as HANA and Mobile, and Markets, providing a suite of services that are geared to customer access, market insights, and impact capital through SAP’s network of non-profit partners and investors. 

Winner Profiles

A good example of how this model comes to life is Solidarium. Tiago, a twenty seven year old Brazilian entrepreneur, had a vision to run a global online retail business, while providing much needed jobs for Brazil’s 8,5 million artisans, many of whom live below the poverty line. His company provides local artisans access to a network of global consumers and buyers, including Walmart and JCPenney, and provides tools and training to the artisans to help articulate their products online. He adds over three thousand artisans to his online marketplace each month, and hopes to increase his share of the artisan market in Brazil exponentially this year. In late 2013, Solidarium was invited to join SAP Expoentes, the Brazil version of the Initiative, and was selected as a winner of the SAP Technology Prize at last week’s SAP Forum in Brazil. Last year, Tiago worked with SAP mentors who helped him analyze his business results using SAP analytics. Now, with SAP’s Business One, Solidarium will be able to manage its operations more effectively as he grows, leaving more time for Tiago to focus on customer acquisition and international expansion. “Before SAP Expoentes I would have never imagined that I would run my business on SAP”, states Tiago. “Through SAP Expoentes I
now see the value of implementing business management software at an early stage so I am set for more sustainable growth.”

Much like Tiago, most candidates in the program were not familiar with SAP’s potential for the small and medium sized marketplace before SAP’s Initiative. This new generation of business represents our future business executives, customers, and leaders that will become our most important social change agents. Understanding what drives entrepreneurs and supporting their businesses in the early stages will help the private sector set a successful path for longer term innovation and business growth and will fundamentally change the scale of social impact like never before.

Profile of The Five Winners:

1. Solidarium (Curitiba/PR) – Over eight million artisans in Brazil live below the poverty line. Solidarium is an online marketplace
that connects artisans directly with a network of recognized and highly qualified design studios and retailers globally, such as Walmart and JCPenny, building economic opportunity for artisans, and a scalable business for Solidarium.

3. Falker (Porto Alegre/RS)The agribusiness industry in Brazil is one of the most relevant for the country’s economy and also poses risks to the environment. Falker develops hardware and software solutions that help increase food production and minimize environmental impact in the agriculture industry Brazil.

4. Fumajet (Rio de Janeiro/RJ) – Endemic diseases are increasingly difficult to prevent in remote regions in the world. Leveraging innovative projects to combat Dengue, Malaria, and Yellow Fever, Fumajet designs technology services to make it easier to combat urban and agricultural pests and diseases in areas with difficult vehicles access.

5. Paripassu (Florianópolis/SC) – Food safety and security is of growing concern in Brazil. Paripassu develops hardware and software tracking systems for food supply chains, building transparency and collaboration among suppliers, from field to shelves.

More Information:

Any further questions, please contact Nicolette van Exel: Nicolette.vanexel@sap.com

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