On March 9, 2021, Orange opened submissions to the 11th Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East. Entrants have until June 4, 2021 to submit their projects on the website.
Since 2011, the prize has been awarded for innovative projects by start-ups, based on ICTs that have a positive societal impact in Africa and the Middle East in the fields of education, healthcare, e-commerce and agriculture, or that help to meet sustainable development goals. Through this prize, Orange seeks to contribute to the socio-economic development of Africa, support social and environmental innovation and encourage entrepreneurship.
The competition includes two stages: a local phase that takes place between March and June in the 17 Orange subsidiaries. The countries then each choose three prizewinners. During the second phase, the winners from each country are in competition with each other and an international jury consisting of representatives of the Orange start-up ecosystem meet to decide on the international POESAM prize winners.
In 2021, in addition to the International Grand Prize which rewards three prizewinners with prizes of €10,000 (3rd place) to €25,000 (1st place), in 2020 Orange launched the International Women’s Prize with a value of €20,000, sponsored by the Orange Group Diversity and Inclusion Department. This prize will either go to a woman, or to a project offering a technological solution to improve the living conditions of women (women’s independence, creating or maintaining jobs, data collection on gender, digital and financial inclusion, etc.).
Elizabeth Tchoungui, Orange Group Executive Director CSR, Diversity and Philanthropy and Deputy Chair of the Orange Foundation, said: “I am delighted that for the second year running the International Women’s Prize is supporting entrepreneurship for women and the promotion of initiatives that aim to improve the empowerment of women. Because helping a woman grow makes the world a better place. This prize contributes towards the attainment of the tenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, which is “Reduced inequalities”, and is something we have committed to.”
Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle East and Africa, noted: “Africa is undergoing major changes: rapid population growth, accelerating urbanisation, technological breakthroughs in mobile communication and mobile financial services, for example. These structural trends are creating major economic opportunities which mean we must innovate in response and thus build a more prosperous and inclusive continent. And who is better placed to meet these challenges than the continent’s young entrepreneurs?”
Orange spots, accompanies and supports responsible innovation in Africa
Detecting young talents is a core element of Orange’s strategy. Created in 2011, POESAM has already sponsored 36 projects which have shared the sum of €555,000 and 87 people have benefited from between 6 and 9 months of coaching and mentoring offered by Orange and its partners. The impact of social and technological entrepreneurship is now undeniable. It has been responsible for so much progress in the fields of education, healthcare, financial inclusion and environmental protection. Through these prizes, Orange has restated its commitment to entrepreneurs who have a positive impact in Africa and the Middle East.
Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East where it had 128 million customers on December 31, 2021. With €5.8 billion in turnover in 2020, Orange MEA is the Group’s main growth region. Orange Money, with its mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has 50 million customers. Orange, a multi-service operator, benchmark partner of the digital transformation, provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.