SAP CSR Initiative Boosts Economic and Social Progress in SEA


In today’s digitally-driven epoch, the role of SAP CSR, in partnership with the ASEAN Foundation, emerges as an instrumental pillar in redefining Southeast Asia’s future. As digital transformation continues to shape global landscapes, this alliance champions youth empowerment in the region.

Initiated in 2017, the ASEAN Data Science Explorers program stands tall as one of the SAP CSR initiatives, manifesting its unwavering dedication to the augmentation of data analytics skills. The impressive scope of this program is evident: by 2022, it successfully armed over 43,400 young minds across ten nations with vital data analytics tools and knowledge. The continuation of this initiative is not merely a renewal of a commitment but a clear acknowledgment of the critical role that data proficiency will play in the region’s future.

Dr. Piti Srisangnam, the visionary Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, portrays a future where the youth’s untapped potential is channeled towards innovative solutions for regional challenges. Concentrating on niche domains such as data analytics could be a pivotal strategy in achieving broad-based regional improvements.

Pushing SAP CSR Towards Data Analytics Proficiency

On the same note, Verena Siow, the dynamic leader of SAP Southeast Asia, spotlighted the irreplaceable role of robust partnerships in curating a generation of digitally adept leaders. These leaders, she believes, are not only the torchbearers of tomorrow but are integral in steering positive change. The narrative emphasizes the intertwined destinies of public, private, and plural partnerships in realizing this vision.

It’s pivotal to understand the demographic landscape: youth form an overwhelming third of ASEAN’s overall population. This isn’t just a statistic but represents an ocean of untapped promise and potential. The program astutely recognizes the existing roadblocks in the region, most notably the digital divide and the lamentable underrepresentation of female talent in technology sectors. Addressing these disparities head-on, the initiative retains its focus on uplifting and digitally educating these marginalized groups.

Strengthening Social Enterprises: A Trio Collaboration

To magnify their outreach and enhance the efficacy of their initiatives, the ASEAN Foundation and SAP have ushered in TikTok, the digital giant, as a collaborator. The ASEAN Social Enterprise Development Program (ASEAN SEDP), operational since 2020, stands as a testament to its dedication. Through this program, they’ve successfully uplifted 20 youth-anchored social enterprises, extending support to almost 1,200 direct beneficiaries. This aid, comprehensive in nature, spans across multiple fronts, including mentorship, funding avenues, networking platforms, and capacity-building resources.

TikTok’s involvement supercharges this endeavor, offering these burgeoning enterprises a robust digital springboard, optimizing their market visibility, and fostering sustained regional resonance. As TikTok solidifies its position as an indispensable ally for SMEs, this trilateral collaboration is poised to redefine the social enterprise landscape in ASEAN.

Verena Siow offers further insights into the transformative power of such collaborations. Bridging the chasm between local communities and expansive market opportunities requires a blend of innovation, resources, and expertise. In the recent past, the ASEAN SEDP social entrepreneurs have exemplified this by showcasing their innovative mettle. When fortified with the right knowledge reservoirs and skill sets, there’s little doubt that these ventures will catalyze significant positive shifts within their local ecosystems.

To complement these flagship programs, additional initiatives like the ASEAN Digital Empowerment and the ASEAN SAP Apprenticeship programs are also in play. These are designed to ensure that no community remains on the fringes. By granting these underserved segments access to online educational content, certification pathways via the SAP Learning Hub, and tangible real-world training opportunities, the collaboration envisions a more inclusive digital ASEAN.

The unwavering alliance between the ASEAN Foundation and SAP, championed under the SAP CSR banner, epitomizes a shared vision. Their mission, both noble and pragmatic, seeks to endow Southeast Asia’s vibrant youth with the instruments and avenues they require to architect a brighter, inclusive, and progressive future.

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