These initiatives have supported the women in creating an independent, sustainable business. Although SAP continues to support the business with an interest-free loan, StarShea Ltd. is no longer dependent on donations and is targeting profitability within the next few years. Organic certification was achieved earlier this year and Fair Trade certification is in process. With software and skill-based volunteers donated by SAP, StarShea Ltd. exemplifies how SAP helps the world run better.
The women are not the only beneficiaries of the partnership. SAP has also profited through its work with the network, exploring innovation opportunities through cloud and mobile technologies for high-growth emerging markets. The software solutions are potentially valuable for 500 million small holder farmers with challenges similar to the shea farmers in Northern Ghana.
In addition to supporting the innovation strategy, SAP benefits from higher employee engagement and people development. With six consecutive half-year fellowships and more than 2,000 volunteer hours, the program has provided SAP employees with invaluable skills and experience.