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SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced a social sabbatical program as an innovative learning opportunity for SAP employees to contribute their time and talent to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses in emerging markets. Small teams of select high-potential SAP employees will bring their specific expertise in areas such as strategy, marketing, IT, finance, consulting or legal to nonprofit organizations, government agencies or educational institutions to help solve pressing business or organizational issues. The pilot phase begins in Brazil in July and will be followed by assignments in India and South Africa in October.

The short-term sabbatical assignment will provide a unique opportunity for SAP employees to hone their leadership skills, deepen cultural knowledge and connect with other emerging leaders from around the world. The new program will complement the myriad education offerings available to all SAP employees, which form the foundation for a career of continuous learning and development.

"SAP is committed to helping the world run better and improving peoples' lives by making strategic social investments that have a lasting and sustainable impact on society," said Dr. Jan Grasshoff, senior vice president, Talent, Leadership & Organization Design, SAP. "Engaging our best talents in skills-based volunteering through the social sabbatical program is an important part of SAP's social investment strategy to support emerging entrepreneurs, and we are thrilled at the level of interest in the program."

While maintaining all normal salary and benefits, the 30 pilot-phase participants will be deployed for four weeks to work on local projects. Social sabbatical projects will range from the development of a supply chain strategy to promote and strengthen the local artisan sector, to a communications strategy for an association of thousands of local recyclable material collectors. Through their global corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, SAP focuses on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to unlock their potential to create economic, social and environmental impact, and become the engine for economic growth and job creation.

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