SAP launches No Boundaries fund to drive female and BME leadership in the software industry
German multinational software firm SAP SE has announced the launch of the SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative, which seeks to invest in entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups. In its 21 January press release, SAP said it is committing 40% of the investable capital from the SAP.iO fund to the programme which is focused on funding and incubating firms led by women and people from ethnic minorities. The fund operates with the goal of aiding 200 startups globally by 2024.
SAP added that the industry is deeply lacking support for female and BME business leaders, noting that 2017 saw a mere 2% of venture capital in Europe being invested in startups founded solely by women, rising to 7% for startups with at least one woman amongst their founders.
"SAP is committed to helping underrepresented entrepreneurs build successful startups and to leveling the playing field for women and minority founders in the startup ecosystem," said Deepak Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at SAP SE, in the firm’s statement.
"We promise founders from all backgrounds equal opportunity in the technology ecosystem. We are proud to be the first company in the sector committed to driving inclusive entrepreneurship, combining investments and incubation with SAP.iO No Boundaries."
The company’s statement added that SAP.iO Foundaries, its zero-equity acceleration programme that focuses on inclusive entrepreneurship, has thus far assisted almost 100 early-stage software firms with over 30% of those being led by women or BME entrepreneurs.
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