With great power, comes great responsibility

Category: News

Posted by: Jo Seagrave / 16 August 2020

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”  It is a proverb that dates back through history, but many of us know it better as the Peter Parker principle, made popular through Stan Lee’s Spider-Man comics and movies. The concept that those entrusted with considerable resources have a duty to utilize them wisely.  At SAP Ariba, we recognize our position as leaders in the procurement market and fully embrace our responsibility to help the world spend better. 

In the past year, we had a fantastic opportunity with our customer, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australia and New Zealand’s largest general insurer, to enable the development of a business-to-business diversity channel of social enterprises and Indigenous and women-owned businesses.  In collaboration with SAP Ariba, IAG created an internal diversity marketplace to enable its employees to channel their spend to make a positive impact on local communities. With IAG’s drive and focus, SAP Ariba expanded its supplier community connected to the Ariba Network in Australia with suppliers from diverse backgrounds that will be available to all local and regional buyers using SAP Ariba Buying in Australia.  

Under this diversity initiative, IAG innovated utilizing tools within its SAP Ariba cloud solution to meet its business needs and growing demands for purposeful spending, creating a pathway to invest in community-driven suppliers. IAG and SAP Ariba worked closely with key supplier intermediaries across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and women-owned businesses and social enterprises such as Supply NationMums & Co and Social Traders to help identify diverse suppliers ready to transact on Ariba Network. By expanding the supplier pool, the diversity marketplace helps IAG employees make more informed decisions before purchasing. Equally important is the ability to provide social enterprises, Indigenous and women-owned businesses better access to markets and corporate spend, allowing them to go from your friendly neighborhood Spiderman (or in many of these cases Spiderwoman!) to full-fledged Avengers-level superheroes.

By working together towards this end and encouraging more programs like IAG’s diversity marketplace, we will build a more inclusive, more equitable and more sustainable economy – and enable organizations of all sizes and industries to find a better way to grow. Initiatives such as these benefit buyers and suppliers alike. For buyers like IAG, they elevate the role of procurement beyond cost reduction by allowing their employees to spend better and make a social impact in the community. For small, indigenous suppliers, we are growing their businesses by giving them access to the largest business-to-business network in the world. The collective power and purpose of our profession to build a community and figure out ways that we can work together to improve people’s lives and create a level playing field for everyone is as gratifying as it is impactful.

As the world’s largest business-to-business commerce network, with more than 4.2 million connected companies transacting nearly three trillion US dollars annually, the impact of SAP Ariba on the global economy is undeniable and growing. This community of buyers, suppliers, partners and business leaders has the power to make a positive impact on the world and it is truly our responsibility to utilize our “spidey senses” to benefit the greater good.

We invite you to follow Pat McCarthy on LinkedIn or join him online for his monthly PAT Chat series to learn more about the latest in procurement and technology.

About SAP:
SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best. For more than a decade, SAP has worked to build trust and add value to the social enterprise sector. In addition to the partnerships mentioned above, efforts in this field focus on inspiring early stage innovation and new ventures, to accelerating and scaling mature social enterprises. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives. Join SAP at Social Enterprise World Forum – Digital on Thursday, September 24 at 5:00 p.m. CET to hear Adaire Fox-Martin, SAP executive board member and head of Customer Success share more about SAP Ariba and the procurement with purpose journey.

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SAP: The competitive advantage of social procurement

Category: Uncategorized

Posted by: Jo Seagrave / 27 April 2020

Corporate procurement is quickly becoming one of the main areas of interest for companies committed to social change and to positively impacting people and the planet. SAP has been leading the charge, demonstrating how integrating social enterprises into corporate supply chains can create added value for companies and communities.

In a recent blog SAP detailed their commitment to social enterprises and how their commitment to social procurement provides the company with a competitive advantage. By doing good, they are also doing well. SEWF’s Managing Director Gerry Higgins commented on the additional value social enterprises can add to traditional business purchasing criteria like pricing and quality. “‘If a city with youth unemployment challenges evaluates construction bids based in part, on the potential for greater community benefits, we’ve seen commercial companies commit to training qualified apprentices, instead of using cheap labor from somewhere else,’ [Higgins] said.”

Read more about SAP’s commitment to social procurement around the world and discover how SEWF is partnering for impact with SAP and other organisations that share our vision for a new global impact economy.

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Social enterprises respond to community needs amid COVID-19

Category: News

Posted by: Jo Seagrave / 06 April 2020

Last week we reflected on systemic and structural responses that are supporting the social enterprise sector in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These structural responses often rely on the ingenuity, creativity, and hard work of frontline social enterprise organisations and leaders who advocate for the sector and frequently inform the delivery of these response funds and campaigns. These are the same organisations and leaders that are collectively responding to this crisis by serving the needs of the most vulnerable and most affected in our communities.

Across the SEWF network, there are numerous examples of social enterprises around the world stepping up to address and mitigate the impact of coronavirus. Some are scaling up with the assistance of their talented and committed staff and volunteer teams to deliver critical public services, while others are changing what they deliver or using innovative approaches to still serve the community.

In the food service and hospitality industry, social enterprises are working to keep supply chains intact, providing additional sources of income for local farmers, while providing meals to those that need them most. DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) is a social enterprise in the United States that scaled up their meal distribution efforts in March to meet increased demand for meals across Washington, DC. In their first two weeks of COVID-19 response, they provided over 80,000 meals to children experiencing hunger in the face of school closures and to partner agencies and shelters expanding their services. In addition to meal distribution, DCCK made their healthy corners food product even more affordable while supporting mutual aid networks and providing fresh produce bags for individuals who need extra support. Similarly, a newly formed social enterprise in South Africa called FoodFlow is providing families experiencing food insecurity with bags of fresh produce and groceries from local farms and suppliers.

Beyond protecting health and wellbeing by tackling food insecurity, many social enterprises are directly supporting the healthcare industry. Some like Biji-Biji, an up-cycling and community arts social enterprise in Malaysia, are staying true to their missions and core activities while developing a new service to response to COVID-19 specific needs. Recognising the shortage of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, Biji-Biji is currently up-cycling unused and unwanted materials that can be used to create needed PPE. Just north in Thailand, the social enterprise Opendream created a streamlined application called Sabaidee that focuses on anonymous participatory symptom reporting for the general public and person under investigation (PUI) management for hospitals. Their service will help public health officials better estimate the scope of the outbreak and fight the spread.

After this fight is ‘over’ and after lockdowns and quarantines are called off, social enterprises will still be on the frontlines fighting for society’s most marginalised and vulnerable. Even when the direct effects of the pandemic have subsided, the societal inequities that are currently being exacerbated as indirect effects of COVID-19, like food insecurity, homelessness, or educational inequality, will remain. In the face of that reality, social enterprises across all industries will continue to sustainably provide for our communities in ways they always have been. As they continue to work toward creating a more just and equitable society, it will be time for us all to rethink how our economy works and embrace social enterprises as they pave the way for a new global impact economy.

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Social Enterprise World Forum has been highlighting social enterprise responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on our website. We are partially focused on elevating systemic and structural responses where actions are being taken to assist the social enterprise sector in a nation or region. If you are engaging your municipality, or regional, or federal government to support your social enterprise sector, it might be helpful to cite examples from elsewhere. While some governments and social enterprise sectors have taken leadership and delivered innovative responses, others will prefer to follow, adopt, and adapt from elsewhere. Two closely aligned responses are from Scotland and South Korea.


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SEWF 2020 Halifax postponed – May Update*

Category: News

Posted by: Jo Seagrave / 25 March 2020

SEWF digital event announced: 21-25 September 2020

SEWF C.I.C. and Partners will host a two-day digital forum from 21-25 September 2020 to assist the world of social enterprise to come together and plan for the future. The event will involve contributions from different locations and we expect that this will be our largest ever SEWF gathering.

Our climate change strategy, set SEWF on the path to increasing digital engagement as a complement to our annual forum. We have seen SEWF produce a legacy of change in many countries and never has this been more important as the world seeks and demands change in the relationship between communities, markets, and governments.

Further details will be available in due course and will be posted via our newsletter and social media channels.


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