SAP backed social enterprise drives social impact through technology, service excellence

SAP backed social enterprise drives social impact through technology, service excellence
SAP backed social enterprise drives social impact through technology, service excellence

Procurement with Purpose is an initiative by two SAP Africa team members – Kaunain Nurani and Mathiba Phokungoane – that aims to make it easier for SAP and other organisations to purchase goods and services from social enterprises.

The aim is to bring a handpicked selection of purpose-driven social enterprises into the world’s largest procurement network, Ariba. By providing greater visibility of social enterprises, Procurement with Purpose encourages organisations to divert some of their spend toward social enterprises and drive social impact.

One such social enterprise is Niashandi a proudly South African black female owned business that was founded by Busisiwe Shibodze in 2015.

The company works in close partnership with a range of partners to provide enterprises with tech support and office procurement services. “We started Niashandi to solve the common business problem of hiring the right person for the position, and giving them an optimum onboarding experience by ensuring they have the right tools – computer or laptop, telephone line, building access – for their jobs.”

Niashandi Professional Services was established as a technology procurement and consulting services provider, specialising in HR and travel management services. Support services and procurement solutions were added to Niashandi’s services to allow enterprise clients to focus on building their business while Shibodze and her team take care of operational matters.

“Our mission is to be the most recognised supplier for both established and new businesses,” says Shibodza. “As a young, woman-owned business we have to prove ourselves in every aspect of our clients’ businesses, from understanding industry terminology and product knowledge to finding the right partners and unlock access to funding for our orders.”

As a social enterprise, Shibodza and her team also aim to direct Niashandi’s efforts toward initiatives that drive social impact. The company’s social efforts are currently focused on two key projects:

  1. The Niatech Future Skills Program, which aims to bridge the gap between high school and tertiary education or the workplace by teaching grade 11 and 12 students practical computer and coding skills, mental awareness and life skills; and
  2. Make It Work, an e-waste and recycling project where Niashandi repairs and donates useful electronics to local pre-schools and homes. The company is also seeking a space for a Tech Hub that will be used as a drop-off centre for e-waste, from where Niashandi will repair, renew, refurbish and resell the items.

“We have a goal of empowering and developing 300 young people in three years,” says Shibodza. “We believe that growing and developing our societies is a sustainable way of improving our socio-economic situation.”

Kholiwe Makhohliso, Managing Director at SAP Southern Africa, lauds the work of the social enterprises that form part of Procurement with Purpose, saying social impact requires more than just a clear sense of purpose. “I have long held the belief that motivated, purpose-driven entrepreneurs can make a significant impact and drive change both in their work environment and the world at large. Thanks to the amazing work by Kaunain and Mathiba for bringing incredible social enterprises such as Collectively Conscious into our Ariba procurement network, SAP customers can now more easily purchase sustainable goods and services from social enterprises that are making a real, positive impact in the world.”

For more information about Niashandi, please visit www.niashandips.com