The Orange Social Venture Prize OSVP) in Africa and the Middle East was launched in 2011to recognize the best tech start up projects that make a positive impact on society or the environment in their region or that align with sustainable development goals.
On October 26th, in Kigali, Rwanda, Orange, which hopes to expand into Nigeria soon, held the 12th edition of the awards. It reflects the company’s drive to advance socioeconomic progress in its operating countries, support social and environmental innovation and encourage entrepreneurship.
This year, nearly 1,400 applications were submitted from across the 17 countries involved in the competition.
The OSVP is a two part awards:
- The International Women’s Prize, which awards €20,000 to the winner whose business venture is led by women entrepreneurs or with the primary purpose of improving women’s lives by developing solutions to specific obstacles or issues they face. This year’s edition was won by iRole! a digital platform that connects women looking for remote work with organizations seeking to fill such vacancies.
- The International Grand Prix, which recognizes three projects that harness tech to make a positive social and environmental impact.
- 1st prize: €25,000: Won by LifeBlood (from Sierra Leone), a digital health platform designed to solve the acute shortage of blood products available in the country’s healthcare system.
- 2nd prize: €15,000: Won by Biomass4GLC (Mali) – The company produces and distributes biogas suitable for cooking in Mali by renting out connected systems
- 3rd prize: €10,000: Won by Kamioun (from Tunisia) – Kamioun has developed an e-commerce platform to supply local convenience stores in Tunisia.
- The panel also decided, for the second time in 12 years, to award the Judges’ Choice prize of €10,000 to a project expected to make a particularly significant impact. This was won by Abana (from Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) – Abana is a marketplace through which clothes designers can sell their creations to shoppers.
The announcements were made by Elizabeth Tchoungui, Executive Director CSR, Diversity and Philanthropy and Deputy Chair for the Orange Foundation, and Brelotte Ba, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange Middle East & Africa at the Mobile World Congress Africa event in Kigali, Rwanda, which held from October 25 to 27, 2022,
With a long track record of supporting entrepreneurship, responsible innovation and empowerment of women in Africa and the Middle East, Orange has awarded €600,000 in prize money to over 30 winners and has financed mentoring and support for nearly 90 entrepreneurs from experts at Orange or its partners.
This is to help bolster entrepreneurship across the continent, which is enjoying vibrant population growth and considerable economic momentum. This leaves young African entrepreneurs needing more support than ever. The Orange Social Venture Prize therefore seeks to support young people by giving them the possibility to raise their profile.
Orange also puts in place tangible action to promote and improve gender equality, an area that has long been identified by the Group as a priority. One way it’s done this is by creating the International Women’s Prize and including it in the OSVP.
Social entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East is more deeply rooted than ever in the lives of people, especially women. This trend is confirmed by the number of female candidates collected under the OSVP 2022 which is in line with the continental average, which is nearly 30% according to World Bank.