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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. 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.

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.

The application deadline for the pilot cohorts has passed. Check back for information on future cohorts!

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 Pilot Locations & Timelines

The program’s pilot will select a total of sixteen businesses, divided evenly across the following cities: Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

CHICAGO & NEW YORK CITY COHORT
  • Application Period Ends: February 28
  • Selection Notification: March 12
  • Selected Business Orientation: March 16
  • Program Launch: April 19
  • Program Close: May 27
ATLANTA & PHILADELPHIA COHORT
  • Application Period Ends: February 28
  • Selection Notification: March 26
  • Selected Business Orientation: March 30
  • Program Launch: May 10
  • Program Close: June 17

Support Team Skillsets

Each selected business will receive a team of 3-5 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 U.S.-based talent.

“The SAP team brought new tools, insights, and perspective to our work. Being able to collaborate and build with trusted members of this community will absolutely strengthen our long-term goals.”

— Marissa Vichayapai

Director, 21 Progress

“The biggest impacts were the result of having volunteers with in-depth experience and access to resources. They brought an outside perspective that is helping push us toward thinking both outside our organization and the standard responses in our industry. That perspective is a sea change we were ready to make and it's really great to have materials we can keep referring back to that will help us position our organization for growth in the next 3 to 5 years. We now have clear short, medium, and long-term marketing goals and will continue to build on those as we develop our strategic plan.”

— Liz Eckstein

Marketing Director, Resources for Community Development

“They were able to set their focus on some things our team had no capacity to do. They delivered us thought out plans that we can easily implement.”

— Megan Lipset

Executive Assistant, Year Up

“The work helped the organization organize our product offerings and develop an aggressive marketing strategy.”

— Beth Specker

Executive Director, Rendell Center

“The [pro bono] program has been of enormous value for Nuup. In one month, we've been able to achieve a strategic planning process that – without the support of the SAP team – would either have taken us 6 months to achieve or we simply would not have been able to get done.”

— Maria Luisa Luque Sanchez

Co-Founder, Plataforma Nuup

“The level of association at which the SAP consultants worked with us was very close and the questions posed by them were very engaging. We were able to look at our program from the viewpoint of a third party and understand our processes better.”

— Neha Dhingra

Executive Director, Surge Impact

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 six years, SAP employees have provided over 7,400 pro bono service hours to 27 businesses and organizations across the United States at a value of over $690,000. Globally, SAP has provided over 226,000 hours of pro bono business consulting to 433 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 430 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)
  • You must have between 3-50 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, Good Market, 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).
The application deadline for the pilot cohorts has passed. Check back for information on future cohorts!

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