Orange launches social venture prize in Africa and the Middle East

Determined to enhance development among startups in Africa and the Middle East, Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, has launched a call for candidates who use innovation to fuel development in Africa and the Middle East to participate and win prizes for their businesses in the 2016 Orange Social Venture Prize.

“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.

The selection which is extended to Middle East for the first time will recognize four start-ups during the awards ceremony with prizes of 25,000 euros, 15,000 euros and 10,000 euros, while 5,000 euros will go to the winner of the Special Cultural Content Prize, Orange says in a statement. Entrepreneurs who are 21 years and older, as well as legal entities in existence for less than 3 years are eligible to participate in the Prize which attracts no cost, regardless of nationality.

Orange says 10 finalists of the Prize and the “Entrepreneur Club’s choice” will also receive special support from the Grow Movement, a Non-governmental organization, for 6 months.

The telco adds that it is determined to fuel development through innovation by showcasing entrepreneurs offering innovative products and services meeting the health, agricultural, educational, energy, commercial or industrial needs of local communities. Orange’s footprint in this region gives the Group a major role in the economy and development of Africa and the Middle East through the many improvements to the daily life of the communities that digital technology brings. Orange is working to improve the communities’ connectivity and to launch value-adding mobile services.

It also pledges to help entrepreneurs by offering various support systems, both to those wishing to start their own companies and to mature start-ups. “Within that framework, Orange shares its experience and know-how by offering access to its exchange platforms and networks and by facilitating the creation of new services through application programming interfaces (APIs). In particular, the Group created specific incubation and acceleration mechanisms such as the Orange Fab program in Ivory Coast and Senegal, along with management and financing vehicles”. Orange added.

Interested candidates are advised to visit from 18 May to 21 September 2016 to fill in application forms for the contest.