SAP to promote job creation and drive technology innovation through investments in East African Entrepreneurs
NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya needs to create more than 3.9 million jobs for young people by 2020, according to a study released today by SAP SE and global nonprofit organization, Endeavor. Over 1.5 million people are currently unemployed in Kenya, and over a third of them are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Kenya’s workforce is projected to grow by 3.4 million people by 2020, due primarily to young adults entering the job market. High growth entrepreneurs have the potential to be major job engines in the country. According to the study, the number of entrepreneurs is growing at 20 percent or more per year and represent only five percent of Kenyan firms, but create over 70 percent of the total new jobs.
In alignment with the SAP Skills for Africa initiative, which promotes education to improve the problem of chronic youth unemployment and expand the IT workforce, SAP and Acumen today announced a strategic investment in a program for social entrepreneurs in East Africa, designed to help the companies grow and scale., Acumen is a non-profit global venture fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas to change the way the world tackles poverty.
“Despite recent political challenges, Kenya continues to experience strong growth, due to its broad-based economy, strategic location and above all, its youthful population. But without creating more jobs for its young people, Kenya will have challenges living up to its potential,” commented Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa. “Small businesses can significantly help to reduce youth unemployment in this important market. As this announcement underscores, SAP is committed to finding innovative ways to solve critical social and business issues in Africa and provide today’s young people – and tomorrow’s leaders — with access to the tools they need to succeed in the digital and networked economy.”
Some of the companies selected for the 2015 SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship are:
- Sproxil (East Africa) – a mobile verification service that helps protect consumers from counterfeit medicine and other health products
- Sanergy (Kenya) – a sanitation company that provides clean, affordable toilets and waste management services to low-cost areas
- SolarNow (Uganda) – a renewable energy company selling and financing solar home systems for low-income communities
Chosen for their proven business model, potential to scale and outlook for job growth and social impact, the CEOs of the selected companies will participate in a 100-day fellowship program. Kicking off in Silicon Valley, widely recognized as a leading entrepreneurial ecosystem, the fellowship has been designed to address the pain points of early stage growth companies including strategy workshops, networking, leadership skills, and organizational growth strategies.
“We see tremendous potential in this selection of entrepreneurs,” said Acumen’s East Africa Director Duncan Onyango. “Our hope is that, by leveraging SAP’s core capabilities and by utilizing their fellow CEOs as resources, this cohort of Acumen entrepreneurs will be able to not only scale their enterprises but also share best practices with others in the region to influence the overall sector and deepen their impact.”
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 291,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
Acumen is working to change the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. We invest patient capital in business models that deliver critical goods and services to the world’s poor, improving the lives of millions. Since 2001, Acumen has invested more than $88 million in 82 companies across South Asia and Africa. We are also working to build a global community of emerging leaders that believe in creating a more inclusive world through the tools of both business and philanthropy. Learn more at www.acumen.org and on Twitter @Acumen .
Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor is leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 40,000 entrepreneurs and selected more than a thousand individuals leading over 650 high-impact companies.
With support from Endeavor’s worldwide mentor network, these high-impact entrepreneurs:
- Have created nearly 400,000 jobs
- Generated $6.8 billion in revenues in 2013
- Inspire future generations to innovate and take risks
Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in 23 markets throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the U.S.
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