Orange launches second ICT innovation competition

Laptop_keyboard_-_Jakub_KrechowiczThe winners of the Orange African Social Venture Prize will get the opportunity to work with ICT experts. (Image source: Jakub Krechowicz)Telecommunications giant Orange has launched the second edition of its Orange African Social Venture Prize, which will provide winning companies with a financial endowment and expert support

The prize, which aims to promote social innovation that supports development through information and communication technology (ICT), will reward projects that could provide a significant social impact.

The three winning firms will receive an endowment of between EUR 10,000 (US$12,600) and EUR 25,000 (US$31,400) and six months of support from entrepreneurial and ICT experts.

“Orange is committed to financially supporting and offering its expertise to the management of the growing small and midsize companies who are awarded this prize,” said the company in a statement.

“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,” it added.

The competition, which will run until September 21, 2012 on Orange’s pan-African web portal www.starafrica.com, is open to any entrepreneur or legal entity that has been in existence for no more than three years.

Visitors to Orange’s web portal will be able to vote for their favourite project, which will be highlighted before the jury responsible for selecting the winning projects.

Selected from more than 600 candidates, winners from the first edition of the competition included a Nigerien project that put mobile technology in the hands of horticulturalists, a Ugandan community-based e-commerce platform and an e-commerce start-up for African craft products from Côte d'Ivoire.

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