What is the Orange Social Venture Prize(OSVP) Competition?
The OSVP competition is part of Orange’s innovation strategy and its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, aiming at promoting Social Innovation for development by identifying, supporting and promoting digital talents, and instigators of change in Africa and Middle-East.
The competition awards an International grand prize to new businesses proposing technological solutions with a positive impact in essential fields such as education, healthcare, agriculture, mobile payment or sustainable development and an International Women Award for a woman, or a project offering a technology solution to improve the living conditions of women (women’s independence, creating or maintaining jobs, data collection on gender, digital inclusion and financial inclusion, etc.
The Implementing Partners: Innovation Sierra Leone (Innosl) /GEN Sierra Leone(GEN SL)
Innovation Sierra Leone has been the implementing partner for the Orange Social Venture Prize Competition since its commencement in Sierra Leone, in 2019. Inno SL is an entrepreneurship Support Organization (ESO) and an Innovation & Technology Management company that was established for the purpose of impacting Sierra Leone’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem by identifying and implementing effective programs, initiatives, projects and policies that foster and support Sierra Leone’s entrepreneurs and Innovation ecosystem.
Inno Sl expertise are as follows;
- Finding and coaching entrepreneurs developing disruptive business models and solving important/meaningful problems while creating impact in society;
- Developing digital solutions, contributing to a digital infrastructure to enable the development and growth of digital entrepreneurs;
- Managing a co-working space and a combined Incubator and Accelerator (Innovations Axis);
- Managing Freetown Pitch Night and running the Global Entrepreneurship Week SL, Future Agro Challenge and ‘Dare2Aspire’ – Women in Entrepreneurship; and
- Partnering with other ecosystem actors in entrepreneurship development programs
Under Inno Sl’s implementation, the Orange Social Venture Prize Competition has gained significant momentum over the years. Leveraging on a vast network of local and global mentors and expertise across sectors, competitors’ applications undergo rigorous evaluation, prior rating and eventual selection of finalists. The process is very transparent and fair as all applications are coded before submitting to independent judges for evaluation.
More than 800 candidates expressed interest for the grand prize and women’s competition, collectively. However, only 48 candidates made it past the screening stage for the grand prize, and 9 candidates made it past the screening stage for the women’s competition. Applicants went through a very rigorous evaluation stage of three judging phases; screening, judging rounds 1, and judging rounds 2. At the end of a judging round, the highest scoring applicants are selected.
Our top finalists for this year’s grand prize were:
- Gokkam: a digital platform that connects farmers, restaurants, hotels to the consumers.
- Uman4Uman: Access to affordable, Chemical Free, reusable sanitary pads and proper menstrual health education
- Leave no One Behind: a library of solar lights where the free enrolled pupils in public schools can access renewable energy.
- Leone Mobile Tech Lab:a movable computer teaching lab mainly intended to teach basic computer knowledge to school going children within the ages of 6-15 (Class 3 – JSS 3 ) living mainly in rural areas
- Concerned Generation Network; Low cost water technology hand pumps and ceramic production. Sustainable designing, assembling and installing of ceramic water pumps & filters that are locally operated to convert all forms of water into safe drinking water
Top finalists for International Women’s Competition
- EcoMobile Clinic: a moveable clinic equipped with drugs and medical facilities
- HarassWatch SL: an online platform and App that tracks and documents sexual Harassment mainly against women/girls in Sierra Leone, and crowd sources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse
- Digital Bafa:a social ecommerce platform that supports & connects women SMEs in Sierra Leone to huge local & international online markets.
We had a total of 11 highly qualified and experienced judges , with industrial expertise and a passion for startup development, evaluating applications for this year’s OSVP Competition.
Bashir Muhammad Idris:
Round 1 Judges:
Hannah Max Marckarthy
Professor Umaru Bah
Ing. Trudy Morgan
Winston George Williams
Suzanne is currently the Project Manager at Aurora Foundation in Sierra Leone. Specialised in supporting start-ups in the ideation stage with setting up their businesses in terms of skill development; identifying a problem and then taking them through the design thinking methodology to ideate, prototype and test their solutions.
Bashir Muhammad Idris
As an Industry project coordinator and head of faculty of Design Innovation at the Limkokwing University of creative Technology, Bashir has designed and coordinated several successful industry projects, trainings, exhibitions, and inhouse-incubations. He is particularly passionate about using Design driven tools such as “Design Thinking” in product development and entrepreneurship in African context. He has years of teaching/management experience and has developed a diverse practical skill set within the field of Industrial Design, Graphic Design, and creative Multimedia.
He holds an MA in International Contemporary Art and Design Practice (with a major in Industrial Design).
Simon is a social entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial enabler based in Sierra Leone. His work in Sierra Leone and West Africa seeks to create a solidarity and learning hub that people seeking change can leverage. Simon currently farms as Lonlon Farms & Services, manages the think tank and consulting firm Think Africa Institute and the chief waste collector at TowayDutty.
Sheka is a private sector development consultant with a particular interest in SMEs and Foreign Direct Investment. Experienced both as an entrepreneur and in providing technical and financial support to entrepreneurs.
Hannah Max Marckarthy
Hannah is the Commercial Director at Westwind Energy (SL) Limited.
Professor Umaru Bah
Professor Umaru Bah is Founder and CEO of DataWise (SL) Ltd. He has been a senior professor of communication with over 20 years of local and international knowledge and experience in media and social science research methods, with a focus on open data/open-source management for entrepreneurship, civic education and sustainable development. His portfolio includes 18 years of research, teaching, and service at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He supervised theses, designed and evaluated courses and curriculums, served as coordinator of graduate-level teaching and administrative programs, and designed, launched and managed an innovative program for global collaboration on the applications of information and data for entrepreneurship, civic engagement and sustainable development.
Peter is a Business Coach and Entrepreneurship Development specialist with over 10 years experience supporting youths in entrepreneurship and Business Development. He is the Coordinator of the MBA Global Business and Impact Entrepreneurship at the University of Makeni. He has served as an external coach in Business Strategy in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Senegal under the MBA in Global Business and Impact Entrepreneurship programme.
Sadia is a trained cancer nurse from UCLH with 15 years pharmaceutical experience with an MBA. After 8 years of nursing, she joined the Zeneca nurse advising team,then the sales team at Sanofi Synthelabo, and returned to AstraZeneca to continue her marketing career.
On leaving her permanent role, she consulted within the pharmaceutical industry on marketing strategies and then went on to set up the European and US trademarked brand beingU, the first product being a skin tone lingerie line. The brand has won two awards for entrepreneur of the year, and best business in the UK. She is currently setting up two businesses in Sierra Leone; one within the food industry and the other aiming to provide marketing services
Ing Trudy Morgan
Ing. Trudy is President of the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers, Council Member of the Professional Engineers Registration Council and Co-founder and first President of the Sierra Leone Women Engineers. She has worked as a management consultant and business development specialist and led three international teams across 17 countries designing and constructing offices for a large UK government agency. She returned to Sierra Leone in 2010 and has made significant strides to support the training of young people and the empowerment of women.
Raphael is a senior Business Development professional and a Certified IFC/TPMA Trainer. He has over ten years of experience working with small and medium enterprises. He is an accredited Mentor for the Tony Elumelu foundation for Entrepreneurship program in Lagos. He currently serves as National Consultant for the international Trade Centre West Africa Competitiveness program (WACOMP) and is also the proprietor/Managing Editor of the Business Digest Newspaper
Winston is the Managing Director of Ecobank Microfinance, with over 20 Years of Experience in Finance. He also Serves as chief representative and member of the Board of Directors. He has held various senior positions including Chief Financial Officer and had also worked at Sierra Leone National Petroleum Company through 2004 – 2007 in a number of
senior positions and spent 4 years before that with DFID in a variety of areas and functions including senior accountant. He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK with an AAT degree from Association of Accounting technicians UK.
This year’s competition was held on the 8th September, at 4pm, at the Orange HQ Terrace, Hillstation. It was attended by dignitaries, including the minister of Higher Education. A total of eight startups pitched this year with five competing for the grand prize and three for the Women’s competition. This year’s national competition only provides financial reward to the first place. However, certificates of participation are given to all pitchers.
Grand Prize- SLL 100,000,000
- 1st Place: Uman4Uman
- 2nd Place: Gokkam
- 3rd Place: Concerned Generation Network
International Women’s Competition- SLL 50,000,000
- 1st Place: Ecomobile Clinic