PALO ALTO — A group of high-growth innovators from India and East Africa will join the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship program in Silicon Valley starting this week.
The program from SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) – created in collaboration with Acumen, a pioneer in impact investing – aims to enable successful entrepreneurs in the critical stage of shifting from startup to early growth phase achieve a strategic view to scale their businesses and find faster, more sustainable solutions to poverty in India and East Africa.
The 100-day fellowship program consists of two parts. The first is a 10-day leadership boot camp in Silicon Valley where the CEOs will address their primary growth challenges and learn how to build a strategy for scale from experienced tech entrepreneurs, business experts and impact investors. Upon returning to their countries, the entrepreneurs will receive on-site mentorship, assistance and ongoing support with the goal to leave the fellowship with a clear plan of execution.
Social enterprises are a significant driving force for economic growth and job creation in India and East Africa. The participating entrepreneurs come from diverse industries including agriculture, education, energy, healthcare and water and sanitation. Their companies have proven business models with the potential to scale and replicate across multiple markets, while the entrepreneurs themselves have demonstrated a strong commitment to leadership across the sector. Having successfully mastered the challenges of establishing a startup company with a proven business model, the next challenge for these social entrepreneurs will be to set their companies up for sustainable success. The fellowship will address typical questions involving the evolution of the business model, go-to-market approach, recruiting and people development, leadership skills and development, process implementation, use of IT, and financial management.
Acumen, a nonprofit global venture fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas to change the way the world tackles poverty, will provide its suite of post-investment resources including technical assistance and mentorship to the CEOs during implementation. SAP will provide functional expertise to help ensure the CEOs have access to high-quality information and technology insights. Addressing the major challenges to scale will allow these emerging entrepreneurs to attract follow-on capital and grow to deliver sustained value to the poor.
The startup companies participating in the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship program include:
- Sanergy, a provider of affordable and accessible hygienic sanitation, Kenya
- Esoko, a developer of a mobile platform to transform rural farming, Ghana
- Sproxil, a developer of mobile authentication technologies to protect consumers from counterfeit medicine, India and East Africa
- Standard of Excellence in Education Development (SEED), which aims to transform low-cost, private K-10 education, India
- Orb Energy, a solar technology provider for emerging markets, India
- SolarNow, which aims to increase energy access in rural areas, Uganda
- Burn Manufacturing, a provider of high-efficiency, clean cookstoves, Kenya
- Frontier Markets, a provider of clean energy products to rural villages, India
- Virtual City, a developer of cost-effective mobile solutions to the supply chain and agribusiness industries, Kenya
SAP, together with Acumen, launched the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship program in April in Nairobi to accelerate the growth and impact of social enterprises in emerging markets.
Scott Behles, SAP, +1 917-494-2009, firstname.lastname@example.org, PT
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