Why does SAP care about social enterprises?

They’re (often tiny) businesses that are built around a social purpose and use the power of the marketplace to deliver on that purpose. They aren’t charities; they’re viable businesses that produce, sell or deliver goods and services, and reinvest at least half of their profits in their social mission.

From coffee carts creating jobs for the homeless, to community-owned energy providers and organisations delivering health and care services to disadvantaged regions; these are small business with big impact.

So, what do they have in common with SAP?

The concept of social enterprise is closely connected to our own purpose; to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. The social enterprise sector and SAP are also both centred in innovation, and seek to inspire social entrepreneurship throughout the global economy. The underlying commonality is the belief that we can do good by doing good business.

“In the last few years we have seen profound shifts in the corporate world, as more organisations realise that businesses must exist for more than the singular pursuit of profit,” says SAP Executive Board Member, Adaire Fox-Martin. “Social enterprises exemplify this and show that commerce can be used as an incredibly powerful force for change.”

Empowering this force for change is why we not only care about social enterprise but take an active role in accelerating this sector. And to extend that active role across Australia, SAP proudly launched a new purpose-led partnership with Social Traders last week.

This partnership is designed to accelerate the sector’s impact by creating corporate spend opportunities through SAP’s Ariba network and to support the capability and capacity of social entrepreneurs to scale and deliver to these new markets through mentorship with SAP.

“I hope that by sharing our expertise in technology and operational excellence with Social Traders and its network, we can supercharge the impact of its work in Australia and beyond,” said Adaire at the launch of the partnership. “It’s something that makes significant business sense; your customers demand it, your employees expect it, and your investors are starting to measure it.

It makes good sense to do good business and have a positive impact at the same time.”

The virtual launch event was hosted by Australian journalist and broadcaster, Annabel Crabb and Adaire was joined by Social Traders’ Executive Director, Mark Daniels and the Victorian Government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Jobs, The Hon. Jane Garrett.


“SAP’s reach into the procurement industry is phenomenal. As a leader and advisor, the influence SAP can bring to this is super [and] the benefits to social enterprises can be enormous through this partnership.”

Mark Daniels, Social Traders

“It’s never been more important to have a vibrant social enterprise network as we’re headed into incredibly difficult economic times. We’re going to need companies like SAP to continue what we have seen around global kindness, around looking out for each other during this horrendous pandemic.”

The Hon. Jane Garrett, Victorian Government

Now, more than ever, is a time to better understand how we can all – as individuals and organisations – make a significant and positive impact on our economy and communities.

Look out for more news about SAP’s commitment to social enterprises and diverse suppliers, and the commitments we’re making to the sector with our own corporate spend.

Please reach out if you’d like to find out how you can be part of the movement to help accelerate social enterprise and scale its positive impact across our communities.

Suranee Perera, Head of CSR and Employee Communications, SAP Australia and New Zealand