13 March 2020


Orange ventures

Applications open for 10th Orange Prize for Social Entrepreneurship

Applications are now open for the tenth Orange Prize for Social Entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East, which recognises technological projects with a positive impact that improve living conditions.

Awarded by mobile operator Orange, the prize is open to innovators in space such as education, healthcare, agriculture, mobile payments and sustainable development.

The competition starts with a national phase during which each of the 17 Orange subsidiaries taking part will examine the projects submitted in its country and nominate three winners. These winners will proceed to a second international phase, in which they will compete before an international panel at AfricaCom in Cape Town in November.

The three international winners will receive, in addition to the national prizes, EUR25,000, EUR15,000 and EUR10,000. In addition, this year’s competition also features a women’s prize worth EUR20,000 and a special prize worth EUR10,000.

Applications are open here  until June 5, with the competition open to innovators from Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

Facebook launches its Community Accelerator programme

Facebook has announced the launch of the Community Accelerator programme, which will be available in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. The programme is in line with its mission to give people the power to build a community around the world and its commitment to supporting the community leaders who drive change.

The six-month accelerator programme, which is an evolution of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme, aims to provide training, mentorship and funding to help community leaders grow their communities. Up to $3-million USD in total will be awarded to 80 programme participants worldwide.

According to Facebook, selected community leaders will spend three months learning from experts, coaches and a customised curriculum and create plans to grow their communities. The leaders will spend the next three months iterating and executing on their plans with funding and support from their networks.

"Our mission is to empower the leaders who foster community — people who offer support, encourage others and make real change," says Kiran Yoliswa, strategic partner manager, communities SSA at Facebook.

"We are investing in leaders because we believe and know that they make significant contributions to today's social challenges, by sharing knowledge and information, and [are] helping people to connect with others that share the same interests or passions for a good cause," concludes Yoliswa.

In 2019, the Facebook Community Leadership Programme provided training, funding and support to 115 community leaders. The leaders reported that their projects impacted over 1.9 million lives through online community support, the use of helpful resources and other activities that were made possible by the programme.

The 12 community leaders from sub-Saharan Africa said that their projects impacted over 80 000 lives.

Facebook has also announced that it has built new tools to help community leaders add new members and moderate conversations in their groups. The improved membership management tool aims to improve how group admins can manage new member requests.

The tool also has content moderation features that make it easier for admins to see important posts and find specific content.

The Community Accelerator programme is one of the investments that Facebook is making in community leaders. The Facebook Community Learning Labs aim to bring group admins with similar goals together into a collaborative digital classroom for structured learning. A dedicated Facebook team with experience helps group admins to achieve their respective goals.

The Community Hub, on the other hand, is a place where individuals can access product education and learn more about Facebook's programmes. It includes tips and tools for starting, managing and growing a community.

Individuals who run an impactful, established community and are ready to grow using Facebook's apps can apply here  before Friday, 10 April. Applicants must be 18 years and older.

Facebook has indicated that community leaders from the selected programme countries, including those without a presence on one of Facebook's apps, are welcome to apply.