Orange has today announced the launch of the second edition of its Orange African Social Venture Prize whose goal is to promote social innovation that supports development through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Through the prize, Orange will provide a financial endowment as well as expert support to the young companies that put forward innovative projects with a significant social impact.
In the 2011 phase of the competition, 634 ICT innovators and entrepreneurs submitted their projects for consideration, reflecting the strong entrepreneurial spirit and the high potential of telecommunications services in Africa. Overall, three projects were selected as prize-winners of the first edition which were announced at the AfricaCom Awards in Cape Town in November 2011. The three were:
- Horticultural Tele-Irrigation: a Nigerien project that puts mobile technology in the hands of horticulturalists;
- Agasha Business Network: a Ugandan community-based e-commerce platform that promotes small African businesses to the global market;
- Kachile: an Ivory Coast e-commerce start-up for African craft products.
The 2012 Orange African Social Venture Prize will be awarded this year to three entrepreneurs or start-ups offering solutions that use ICT in innovative ways that meet the needs of populations on the African continent.
In addition to receiving an endowment of Euros 10,000 (US $ 12,580) to Euros 25,000 (US $ 31,443), the three prize-winners will receive six months of support from entrepreneurial and ICT experts. In addition, a “favourite project”, selected by visitors of the Group’s web portal www.starafrica.com, will be highlighted before the jury responsible for selecting the winning projects.
The competition is open to any entrepreneur or legal entity that has been in existence for fewer than three years at the time of the competition may participate at no cost and with no restriction on nationality. Submitted projects must be designed to be deployed in at least one of the African countries in which Orange operates and must use information and communication technology in an innovative way to help improve the living conditions of the populations in these countries.
Applications are accepted from May 22 to September 21, 2012 on Orange’s pan-African web portal, www.starafrica.com.