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Christchurch social enterprises gain from social sabbatical

24 May 2017


Christchurch social enterprises gain from SAP employees’ social sabbatical

By Ākina Foundation

SAP’s Social Sabbatical for Regional Engagement programme kicked off Monday in Christchurch, with a launch event that brought together employees of SAP Australia and New Zealand, SAP’s implementing partner PYXERA Global, the participating social enterprises and sector intermediary, the Ākina Foundation.

This year’s programme, which is being hosted in New Zealand to coincide with the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum, gives twelve SAP staff members the opportunity to devote their private sector expertise on behalf of four Christchurch-based social enterprises: Kilmarnock Enterprises, Science Alive, Cultivate Christchurch and Ethique.

Graeme Riley, managing director of SAP New Zealand, attended the event directly after returning from SAP’s global SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Florida, and was impressed by the social enterprises chosen to participate.

“Although this injection of talent (some of our organisation’s top performers) sounds like a boon for these social enterprises, it’s as much, if not more so for SAP,” said Riley.

“The passion with which these social enterprises presented their mission and vision is something most corporations could only dream of. But by partnering with social enterprises, their passion quickly becomes infectious, shaking perceptions of what it means to ‘go to work’ and strengthening our sense of purpose.”

More on the Christchurch social enterprises:

Kilmarnock Enterprises: Providing a diversity of assembly, packing, etc. services to clients through employment, social development, and health/wellbeing services for people with disabilities.

Science Alive: A science and learning technology education centre, including community outreach programming and exhibition manufacturing.

Cultivate Christchurch: A network of urban farms that grows skills and provides meaningful work experience for young people, especially those affected by the quakes.

Ethique: A personal care product manufacturer and retailer, with a well-known young CEO committed to ridding the world of plastic bottles.

Over the last 4 years, SAP has partnered with nonprofit organisations and social enterprises around the world as part of their Social Sabbatical programme. Their aim is to solve concrete business challenges and bridge the digital divide in different markets across the globe, along with helping organisations run at their best and supporting them to maximise their social impact.

The SAP projects will be documented over the next two weeks and their impact presented at the global Social Enterprise World Forum, which is also taking place in Christchurch from 27-29 September 2017.

For more information about the SAP Social Sabbatical visit and to find out more about the Forum, visit


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