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The SAP Social Sabbatical for local engagement program is a unique, short term high-impact volunteering offering for SAP employees who work together in cross-functional teams to solve concrete business challenges for non-profit organizations in local markets. Participants gain expertise on the topic of “run simple” and "customer focus" within the context of a resource constrained sector and strengthen their personal development. The program in Sofia was put into effect in cooperation with SAP partner in all Social Sabbatical programs - PYXERA Global.

This year the program was piloted in Bulgaria and 10 colleagues in three teams took part in the first edition. All the colleagues were really excited after they’ve finished their projects and shared what the participation in the program was for them.

Team 1:

The first SAP team had the pleasure to work with a small NGO called Re-Act, helping and working with children with deviant behavior. The brave idea of Re-Act is to help those children develop some skills and knowledge that they can use once out of the institution. The people involved in re-Act are full of dedication and enthusiasm, they each have an enormous heart. However they dispose only with very few and insufficient resources. The team’s goal was to help re-Act organize their work better so that they can optimize the use of those insufficient resources. During this unforgettable adventure our colleagues and re-Act have all worked a lot and learned even more from each other.

Ralitsa Dobreva: For me the social sabbatical project was a unique opportunity to get out of my normal work and dive deep into a completely new and challenging project. It was very inspiring and motivating and it triggered a change in both my personal and professional life.

Dimitar Dimkin: The thing I value the most for myself after having participated in this incredible program is the awareness that you can always find unexpected knowledge and abilities in yourself, even in completely unfamiliar surroundings. To have trust in yourself is the first step in any challenge you take on and it always pays off.

Elena Filipova: I was truly impressed by the enthusiasm of the people in Re-Act and by the way they opened up to us. I have learned a lot about the difficulties smaller organizations face and I needed to look things from a completely new perspective. This adventure was an eye-opener and it was very inspiring for me. 

Team 2:

Endeavor Bulgaria supports Bulgaria’s long-term sustainable economic development by selecting, mentoring and accelerating Bulgaria’s high impact entrepreneurs.

The SAP team of Vesela, Angel and Iliyana had to support the small team of Endeavor Bulgaria in improving their marketing strategy and structuring good partnership approach and proposals.

Angel Petrov: I had a great time working in a new environment with new people. I felt like a freelancer, because the whole working process was up to us as a team and it was a wonderful experience to come to an agreement!

Iliyana Lilova: It is a great opportunity to be able to contribute to an organization that supports clever and determined people in a developing economy such as Bulgaria.

Vesela Rashkova: I was happy to find friends inside SAP and work with people outside SAP having admirable cause to change the business microclimate on Bulgarian market.

Team 3:

The team “” (translates to „we study“) was very excited to work with (translates to “I study”) educational site. The site offers video lessons presented with engaging and understandable language complemented with tests that direct you to the exact location in the video lesson where each specific question is described. The site helps thousands of students in Bulgaria to find the interesting things in school and become better students and there will be much bigger impact on Bulgarian society that will become visible in several years. It already has 400 000+ subscribers, more than 6500 videos which have close to 16 million views. The goal of the SAP team’ project was to provide recommendations to in order to help them retain better their subscribers and to increase the renewal rate. Although the colleagues were not confident to what extent they can help, they’ve jumped into the challenge with all their passion. At the end they’ve managed to give over 50 different recommendations in different aspects of their offering and the site has already started implementing some of the recommendations.

Denitsa Sabeva: I liked the opportunity to help and support Bulgarian startup, especially а social one, oriented to education and young people! It was and inspiring adventure, that I recommend to everyone.

Nikolay Il. Nikolov: The project helped me understand the difficulties in our educational system but it also managed to bring back my faith that the situation is not beyond repair. It gave me the opportunity to look into most of the challenges a business who tries to establish itself in the area of education has. I also had the chance to work with young enthusiastic people and I got some of their energy too.

Iavor Petkov: What the guys at are doing, they are doing it for our children, for us and for our society. It was great to experience first-hand the passion, energy and dedication of these young people with a mission. I am glad we were able to help a good cause.

Svetlomira Manova: It was really inspiring experience for me to work with these young, intelligent people full of enthusiasm and optimism. I am really happy that we managed to give them different point of view about their work and provide a new ideas that they can implement. I am thrilled to see how this start-up company will developed in the future and how our help will contribute for their even bigger success.

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