SAP Backs Social Enterprises Through £2 Trillion Procurement Platform


Author: PASA

SAP 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® Network we 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.”


About the partnership
As Social Enterprise UK’s technology partner, SAP will advance the social enterprise sector by collaborating on initiatives that deliver to them better access to markets and buyers, to talent and to technology. In turn, the two organisations seek to define innovate ways for corporates to engage the social enterprise sector in similar ways.

About SAP
As the cloud company powered by SAP HANA®, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 413,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit

About Author

Procurement and Supply Australasia (PASA) is the leading provider of information and education to procurement and supply professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, awards, plus various community and network building activities. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing, for many years recognised as the leading producer of conferences and events for the procurement profession in Australia and New Zealand. Whether producing under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences or now PASA brands over the last ten years, our events have consistently led the market in terms of both educational and networking opportunities.

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