SAP Backs Social Enterprises Through £2 Trillion Procurement Platform

 SAP (UK) Limited plans to strengthen its support of the social enterprise sector by making it even easier for organisations to find and do business with certified social enterprises on Ariba® Network, the digital marketplace where more than £2 trillion in business-to-business commerce is conducted annually.

As the official technology partner of Social Enterprise UK, the expert body for the UK’s social enterprise sector, SAP aims to facilitate better connections between corporate buyers and other employees with social enterprises, helping them spend better and in a more socially and environmentally sustainable way.

The potential of this partnership is substantial – globally Ariba® Network supports 2.3 times more commerce than Amazon, Alibaba and eBay combined. In the UK, Ariba Network hosts nearly 200,000 buyers and suppliers and handles over £65 billion in spend – equivalent to 3.2% of UK GDP; double the size of Edinburgh’s economy.

SAP believes greater corporate procurement from social enterprises is key to improving the social and environmental impact of business. This is critical at a time when the public, government, and business are calling for more inclusive, and socially and environmentally responsible economic growth. Just 1% of the global spend on Ariba Network directed towards social enterprises would translate to an injection of £23 billion in the sector, turbocharging the growth of these transformative businesses.

As well as opening up its platform wider to social enterprises, SAP has also joined Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge, a ground-breaking initiative through which leading corporates integrate social enterprises into their supply chains with the aim of achieving a combined £1 billion spend.

The Corporate Challenge is about to enter its fourth year and currently has 15 partners, including some of the UK’s biggest companies. Partners come from sectors ranging from construction and insurance to professional services firms. By participating in this initiative, companies have both diversified and driven innovation in their supply chains, using their procurement function to change how they buy goods and services.

Social enterprise is about building business that matters

Commenting on the new partnership, Adaire Fox-Martin, SAP Executive Board Member for Global Customer Operations, said: “This is about building business that matters. We look forward to a strong relationship with Social Enterprise UK to better connect corporate buyers with social enterprise suppliers. Through the reach of Ariba® Networkwe have a powerful platform for companies to put their money where their purpose is and scale the social enterprise sector.

“Working with social enterprise suppliers allows companies to use their everyday procurement spend in a way which changes lives, whether that’s creating jobs for vulnerable women, protecting our planet through sustainable materials or reinvesting profits back into local communities.

“SAP sees social procurement as the future. Procurement can and must be used to build a fairer, more sustainable world, and we will be using our platform to shift how markets work and help companies achieve this.”

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK said: “Social enterprise is the future of business, but to get to a world where every business has concern for society and our environment at its core, we need to work with others. SAP has pinned its colours to the mast as a progressive business which cares about people, not just profits. By becoming our technology partner and joining our Buy Social Corporate Challenge, SAP is setting an example that we need other businesses to follow.”