Sage, the Newcastle based global business software firm, announced a partnership with Invictus Games to support former servicemen and women last week. Growth Business speaks to CEO Stephen Kelly on this long-term partnership, offering six-month placements for war veterans in the business world
Resiliency against all odds, inspirational leadership, and quick-footed, creative thinking are all traits attributed to decorated war heroes. These traits also make for strong entrepreneurs.
Sage CEO, Stephen Kelly appreciates the overlap, explaining why Sage Foundation, the social philanthropy arm of the UK software giant, is now supporting Invictus Games in a multi-year partnership.
‘We believe entrepreneurs are the true heroes of the global economy, and supporting them is our passion. We want to do this in a way to play a positive role in communities through our Foundation. Particularly close to our heart is an enduring and treasured relationship with those who have given their service to their country – a special type of hero,” Kelly said.
The Invictus Games
The brainchild of Prince Harry, the Invictus Games uses the power of sport to help wounded war veterans with their rehabilitation as they channel their inner champions. It all began in London two years ago with more than 400 competitors from 13 nations. This year, the Games are being held in Orlando, Florida, with more than 500 competitors from 15 nations taking part in 10 sports.
Sage has announced that it will sponsor the upcoming Invictus Games as well as enter into a multi-year partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation to allow war veterans to explore their skills in the business world.
Careers beyond competitive sport
According to Kelly, Sage will match ex-military personnel who have left service in the last year with six-month placements in sectors of the business where Sage has expertise such as accounting, IT, sales and customer services.
“Because we’ve worked with Small & Medium Businesses around the world for more than 30 years, we know what makes brilliant businesses, and we’ve also learned that many of the skills people acquire in the military transfer brilliantly into entrepreneurialism,” Kelly told Growth Business.
The competitors at Invictus Games 2016 will also be invited to address the 20,000 entrepreneurs expected to attend Sage’s customer event in Chicago this July, to inspire them with their stories of determination and success.
“Working with the Invictus Games, and delivering our wider military programme enables us to repay our debt to these heroes by supporting them as they move from service to life beyond the armed forces,” Kelly added.
The programme will initially take root in the UK and the US, but will eventually be extended to as many of the 23 countries in which Sage operates as possible.