German software giant SAP has announced an initial three-year 2 million euros (US$2.6 million) commitment to organizations in Brazil and India that aid local entrepreneurs, to help with providing access to mentorship and technological support.
The effort is part of SAP's emerging entrepreneurs initiative, and will focus first on Brazil and India before expanding to other emerging markets, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
SAP and its partners aim to help accelerate job creation and responsible, sustainable business growth for budding entrepreneurs who will be selected by Endeavor Global, Endeavor Brazil, and India's National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN). Both the NEN and Endeavor are non-profit organizations that support entrepreneurs.
The selected entrepreneurs will receive access to employee volunteers, mentors, and technology support from SAP, along with innovation grants from SAP Foundation--a corporate advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
"Today's entrepreneurs are the bedrock of tomorrow's economy. We believe in the 'Power of Small,' and the vital role that the private sector plays in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs," said Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP. "The task is now to identify and support small business leaders that have all the ingredients to execute their magic growth formula, accelerate innovation, and create jobs for the common good."
A recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey SAP sponsored found that more than 500 million new jobs need to be created worldwide by 2020 in order to provide for the currently unemployed and youths who will later join the workforce. The bulk of the challenge rests on developing economies such as Brazil and India, so entrepreneurs there should be well-positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities, the company said.
Working with the NEN in India, SAP said that it plans to train 30 mentors across India who, in turn, will support 300 entrepreneurs. They will also select about 100 SAP experts to help entrepreneurs with their specific technology requirements through skilled-based volunteering assignments. Finally, up to five entrepreneurs will be chosen to receive a technology assessment, technology solutions, and an innovation grant from SAP.
K Srikrishna, executive director of NEN India, in the statement said: "High-potential entrepreneurs are critical for India to create the tens of millions of jobs it needs over the next decade. By investing in developing mentors and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, NEN and SAP will enable more entrepreneurs to grow and create the jobs India needs."
According to a report by The Economic Times, SAP is committing 335,000 euros (US$448,129) for its emerging entrepreneurs initiative with the NEN.