Orange has launched the third Orange African Social Venture Prize (OASVP), buoyed by the success of the first two programmes in 2011 and 2012. The prize promotes social innovations in support of development that use Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Any entrepreneur aged 21 and above, or a company that has existed for less than three years at the time of the competition, regardless of nationality, can enter the awards free of charge. The projects submitted must have plans to deploy their solution in at least one of the African countries where Orange is present and make innovative use of ICT to improve the living conditions of the people in these countries. Applications should be submitted before September 20, 2013 via the Star Africa portal: http://www.starafrica.com. The top three projects will receive a financial grant of up to € 25,000, as well as a six month tailored mentorship provided by entrepreneurial and ICT experts.
Orange, now present in 18 African countries with over 70 million customers, seeks to become a major player in the economic and social development of these countries. Through the OASVP, Orange affiliates aim to contribute to the development of these markets through the Group’s ‘Orange for Development’ programme and propose innovative solutions that meet the needs of the local population.
The Prize, a continental platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups to showcase ICT based solutions that can improve the lives of people living in Africa, is aligned to Orange’s overall innovation strategy as well as its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.
In the second edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize last year, the Takachar project, a Kenya-based initiative, was the first runner up. Takachar, which provides an innovative system to improve waste management by using telecommunication to track waste collection in real time, enables cooperatives to operate more efficiently and increase the proportion of organic waste that can be transformed into charcoal.
In the same year, 45 of the 437 entries submitted for selection for the overall Prize were from Kenya – the second highest number of applications from an individual country – translating to slightly over 10 percent of the total entries, drawn primarily from the 18 Orange affiliates in Africa.
An additional two Kenyan projects also made it to the initial shortlist: Njorku Kenya, a job search engine for those seeking to be employed in Kenya and Sasa Africa, an e-commerce platform that enables craftswomen to engage more effectively with a global customer base.