Published on 16 July 2021

OSVP 2021: overview in 5 figures

As a benchmark in supporting start-ups, the Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East (POESAM in French) rewards the best technological projects in the region. Each year, it attracts a growing number of entrepreneurs keen to contribute to their country’s socio-economic development. Here are the highlights from this year’s 11th edition.


1679 projects selected in 2021 vs 1,346 in 2020

The entire world has been hit by the pandemic over the past 18 months, but this has not dampened the spirit of innovation on the African continent. This year we received 1,679 applications, an increase of 25% from last year and a testament to the continent’s ability to recover.  

392 applications received in Cameroon

23% of this year’s projects were submitted in Cameroon, the top country with the most applications, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (13%), Côte d’Ivoire (12%), Senegal (11%) and Tunisia (7%).

15 % of initiatives in education

This year’s OSVP again attracted many high-impact projects. However, there was a notable number of projects in education (15% of applications) and also agriculture (12%) e-commerce and health (each with 11%), and ecology (6%).

24 % for the International Women’s Prize

Women’s entrepreneurship continues to thrive, especially in Africa, which accounts for around 600 million female business founders. In 2021, nearly a quarter of start-ups (24%) competed in the International Women’s Prize category, a 1-point increase compared to last year. Launched in 2020, the prize allocates a sum of €20,000 to a project led by a woman or which aims to improve women’s living conditions and empowerment.

Two-step selection process

After the application phase, the competition is held in two stages. From 7 June to 31 August, a national phase is held in 17 countries. The participating subsidiaries choose their top three projects. These national winners qualify for the international phase, which is held during September and October. An international jury then meets to assess the various projects and award the overall OSVP winners. 

Orange warmly congratulates African entrepreneurs for their boundless creativity and the positive impact it has on their community. Check back in October to discover the national winners!