Orange Social Venture Prize 2019 : the countdown has begun!

There’s only a few weeks left until the names of the 9th international Orange Social Venture Prize Africa & Middle East are revealed! First launched in 2011, the prize supports development by rewarding young start-ups that use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to respond to local needs (education, health, agriculture, mobile payment, and sustainable development…). It forms a key part of Orange’s innovation strategy and approach to corporate social responsibility.

An early-stage initiative to raise visibility

The third and final step in the Orange Social Venture Prize Africa & Middle East is underway! An international jury made up of representatives from the Orange start-up ecosystem and Group partners will meet to select the three overall Grand Prix winners. This is the final stage in an adventure that has played out over several months.

The highlight: funding for the top 3 winners as well as 6 months’ personalised support for them and all 10 finalists offered by Orange experts or partners. This is a unique opportunity to develop their business with professionals who help incubate and finance young companies.

The Orange Social Venture Prize is also an opportunity for winning start-ups to improve their reputation and credibility among their target audiences. Some of them go on to collaborating directly with the Group or one of its entities! 

A recap of the 2019 Prize

The journey began in spring 2019, when start-ups applied to a national competition. To be eligible, the business activity had to meet 3 criteria:

  • Start-ups must be less than 3 years old,
  • be run by a student, employee or entrepreneur 21 years or older,
  • be implemented in one of the following countries: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

Between June and September 2019, all the projects submitted were examined by Orange subsidiaries in each operating country. Shortlisted companies underwent further interviews and pitches to deepen certain aspects of their applications. A total of 1,333 applications were reviewed in 2019: a record number! In September, national juries shortlisted up to 3 winners per country, bringing the number of national winners to 48.

Orange Social Venture Prize Africa & Middle East 2019 in key figures :

  • Up to 3 winning projects in each of the 17 countries 
  • 3 winning start-ups at the international Grand Prix
  • €10,000 to €25,000 award for each Grand Prix winner
  • 10 start-ups supported 

Save the date!

We look forward to seeing you at AfricaCom (opens in a new window),  which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. The winners of the Orange Social Venture Prize Africa & Middle East will be announced on 12 November.