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Pro Bono for Economic Equity

A Skills-based Volunteer Program to Support Black-owned Businesses

Over the course of 2020, the world has witnessed an incredibly volatile and uncertain global crisis unfold with the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that has been further complicated by unaddressed social and systemic racial injustices in the United States and around the world. Acknowledging both this current circumstance and the historical precedents that have made operating a business more difficult for Black business owners, SAP, a global leader in business application software, has made several commitments meant to support the racial and social justice movements across the U.S. and other countries.

In an effort to provide additional support specifically to Black-owned small businesses, the company has expanded its skills-based volunteer programming to include the Pro Bono for Economic Equity program in partnership with PYXERA Global.

Please see the "Program Locations" section below for Application Deadlines & Program Dates!

Please contact [email protected] with any questions about the program or application.

What does the program entail?

Through this initiative, SAP will offer the skills, talent, and expertise of its employees at no cost, virtually, over the course of six weeks to support the operations of Black-owned businesses at a time when substantive recommendations and business guidance from seasoned professionals can make a large impact on the future of those businesses and the communities they serve.

This opportunity is for Black-owned businesses that are looking for guidance and recommendations on how to:

Streamline and improve the efficiency of their operations
Transition operations or services virtually
Meet the needs of customers during the current reality
Grow or expand their business
Build resiliency in the face of difficult circumstances

Program Locations

  • Application Period Ends: July 16
  • Selection Notification: August 9
  • Selected Business Orientation: August 11
  • Program Launch: August 30
  • Program Close: September 7
  • Application Period Ends: August 13
  • Selection Notification: September 6
  • Selected Business Orientation: September 8
  • Program Launch: October 11
  • Program Close: November 19
  • Application Period Ends: August 6
  • Selection Notification: September 6
  • Selected Business Orientation: September 8
  • Program Launch: October 4
  • Program Close: November 12
  • Application Period Ends: August 6
  • Selection Notification: September 6
  • Selected Business Orientation: September 8
  • Program Launch: October 11
  • Program Close: November 19

Support Team Skillsets

Each selected business will receive a team of 2-3 SAP employees, each of whom will dedicate up to 80 hours over the course of the 6-week program to their assigned project. SAP support teams will be built from various disciplines and backgrounds to provide a multilayered perspective to those businesses selected for participation in the program. Potential skill sets include:

STRATEGY & PLANNING
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
OPERATIONS & PROCESS MANAGEMENT
MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS
DATA ANALYTICS & MANAGEMENT
HUMAN RESOURCES
FINANCE & ACCOUNTING
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
DESIGN THINKING

SAP will select employees to participate in this program through a competitive application process to ensure that businesses benefit from some of the company’s best and most passionate talent in each region.

Testimonials from Cohort 1 of Pro Bono for Economic Equity

"As a founder, I have been through quite a few startup and founder support programs. This has by far been one of the best programs. The level of expertise from the team members, the quality of the deliverables, and more are simply invaluable. Beyond that, I felt seen, valued, respected, and supported. I feel like I have been set up for success and am in a much better position to close on critical partnership deals that will significantly grow our customer base.”

— Dr. Christine Izuakor

Founder & CEO, Cyber Pop-up

"To take the time to get in the trenches, show this level of attention, and appreciation for startup companies - especially for underrepresented startup companies with black and brown and women founders - speaks volumes to the type of character that SAP represents."

— Roy Scott

CEO, Healthy Hip Hop

"We've already begun seeing the fruits of the SAP consultants’ labor over the last 6 weeks by helping us understand the capabilities of our tech-stack... We're not looking to be just another bridal shop, and the team helped us understand the capabilities and potential of our existing tech-stack not only to cut costs, but to unlock massive value and allow us to maintain our first-mover advantage and stay two steps in front of our competitors."

— Lundyn Carter

Founder & CEO, Laine London

“Our partnership with SAP came at the right time for us and we are grateful for the patience, knowledge, and dedication the SAP team provided us over our 6-week period together. The SAP [team] was knowledgeable and consistent in meeting with OBWS and explaining concepts and next steps that OBWS had to do to successfully meet our CRM and customer touch point needs.”

— Krystle Shakespeare

Chief of Operations, Official Black Wall Street

"We (Black business owners) feel that what we have and what we do well is great, but it has to have that engine under it. When I think about Economic Equity, this is what it looks and feels like because it's more than just words…it's SAP consultants bringing all their utility, energy, and skill to ensure that we can reach past the finish line."

— Rejoice Jones

Founder & CEO, Vower, Inc.

"I truly did not expect for so much time and detailed attention to be spent on my business. The connection that was available to help strategize an actionable plan for my business was invaluable. My team really worked hard to completely understand where I was headed and they formulated a very detailed step-by-step plan for me to take once the program ended."

— Jennifer Morris

Co-Founder, Cupcakeology

“I was focusing my company on the wrong target market until my advisors gave me the proper insight and information…Without SAP's assistance, I would have not been able to correctly chart the business path. I am completely satisfied with the results of this incredible program!”

— Chef Darryl Fuery

Founder & CEO, Teaching N Training L3C

In the News

Pipeline Partners

SAP & PYXERA Global are extremely grateful to the following Pipeline Partners for working to make this opportunity available to the businesses in their support networks:

SAP Pro Bono Statistics & Figures

Over the last seven years, SAP employees have provided over 11,200 pro bono service hours to 43 businesses and organizations across the United States at a value of over $1,040,000. Globally, SAP has provided over 226,000 hours of pro bono business consulting to 461 organizations over the past eight years.

98%

of Host Clients report satisfaction with the experience & deliverables of SAP Pro Bono

98%

of Host Clients would recommend SAP Pro Bono to other peer organizations

88%

of Host Clients report that SAP Pro Bono was a change agent for their organizations

Benefits of Pro Bono

SAP has offered pro bono business consulting services since 2012 to private and social organizations in an effort to live by its mantra of “helping the world run better and improving people’s lives.” Over 460 organizations have benefitted from having the company’s talent provide recommendations and guidance on specific business challenges or opportunities.

Over that period, SAP has found that the engagement of its top talent in this skills-based service activity has provided creative outlets for employees to explore new ways of ensuring customer success, which has led to positive business benefits. SAP, well known for its business process expertise and its ability to leverage technology to enable business success, has worked hard to create a corporate culture that gives back to the communities in which its employees live and work.

In the Pro Bono for Economic Equity program, SAP is recruiting employees that are passionate about racial and social justice to assist Black-owned businesses in building resiliency into their operations, create new wealth in communities of color, and help decrease racial disparities in the United States.

Program Requirements & Eligibility

Your business must be:

  • A Black-owned small business or social enterprise (as defined by 51% or more Black ownership of the business)
  • Your business should not have more than 50 employees (including yourself, all full or part-time employees, and independent (1099) contractors)
  • The business must also NOT be part of a large franchise brand. The business may have multiple locations, but the parent company should be the one to apply for this program.
  • The business must have been founded within the United States and have a majority of its operations within the United States.

Selected businesses will also need to:

  • Work with PYXERA Global to identify the challenge that will be assessed by the SAP employees and create a detailed project brief to guide their initial work.
  • Establish a project coordinator that will be able to dedicate 2-4 hours per week to meeting with the SAP employees or providing the necessary materials to inform their work.
  • Ensure periodic access to the business’ decision-makers to confirm the validity and sustainability of recommendations.

Businesses that are not eligible for participation in the Pro Bono for Economic Equity program:

  • Any government agency, public administration, political organization, or non-profit of any type;
  • Businesses engaged in any illegal activity;
  • Entities listed on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Sanctions List.
  • Businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a sexual nature;
  • Businesses principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling, or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting;
  • Any business that is primarily in the business of manufacturing, promoting, or selling diet aids, cannabis, gambling, tobacco (including tobacco-related equipment, such as e-cigarettes), firearms or other weapons;
  • Direct sellers;
  • Businesses owned by employees, officers, and directors of SAP, PYXERA Global, or any referring partner for the Pro Bono for Economic Equity program, and any affiliated entities, and their respective immediate families (parents, spouse, children, siblings) or individuals residing in their household (whether or not related).

Please see the "Program Locations" section above for Application Deadlines & Program Dates!

Please contact [email protected] with any questions about the program or application.