Four startups stand chance to win over $60,000 (55,000 euros) from the Orange Social Venture Prize, which aims to encourage start-ups that use innovation to fuel development on the African continent and the Middle East.
Now in its 6th edition, the Orange Social Venture Prize showcases entrepreneurs offering innovative products and services meeting the health, agricultural, educational, energy, commercial or industrial needs of local communities.
Since its launch, the competition has received some 2,600 projects with some of them building continental businesses after the competition. This year’s applications are open from today May 18 to September 21 2016. Applications can be made on the EntrepreneurClub.Orange.com website, Orange’s new portal for entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East.
The projects of 4 start-ups will be recognized during the awards ceremony with prizes of 25,000, 15,000 and 10,000, while 5,000 euros will go to the winner of the Special Cultural Content Prize.
The 10 finalists of the Prize and the “Entrepreneur Club’s choice” award will also receive special support from the Grow Movement NGO for 6 months. The competition are open to any entrepreneur of 21 years and older and any legal entity in existence for less than 3 years, regardless of nationality. The projects presented must concern a service to be deployed in at least one of the 18 African and Middle Eastern countries listed in the contest rules.
“Orange MEA is a strategic partner for the digital transformation in Africa and the Middle East to serve its 110 million customers; it plans to play a leading role in supporting the digital transformation of the African continent and to be a major partner to start-ups,” says Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Orange operations in Africa and the Middle East.
Apart from opening its API to entrepreneurs, Orange has also opened incubation and acceleration centers such as the Orange Fab program in Ivory Coast and Senegal, along with management and financing vehicles. In Africa, Orange has opened incubators in five African countries: Senegal (CTIC), Mauritius (Ebene), Niger (Cipmen), Mali (Createam) and Guinea (Saboutech) to drive innovation.
The applications are open to entrepreneurs from Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypte, Ile Maurice, Guinée Bissau, Guinée Conakry, Guinée Equatoriale, Madagascar, Mali, Maroc, Niger, République Centrafricaine, République Démocratique du Congo, Sénégal, Tunisie, Jordanie and Libéria.