Social Venture Prize: Kitso Books emerge victorious

Kitso Books beamed a broad smile all the way to the bank after scooping the first prize for this year’s as Orange Botswana celebrates victors in the 9th edition of the Orange Social Venture Prize.

“In a continued effort to champion active support for local talent across the board, Orange Botswana held the 9th edition of the Orange Social Venture Prize this year, culminating in an awards ceremony on the 17th of October 2019,’’ said Orange Botswana in a statement.  

For the first time in as many years, the platform, which aims to reward the best innovative and socially responsible business projects, saw an impressive number of entries for 2019, but with only three walking away with the prestige and prize money allocated to Botswana entrants in the first phase of the competition. This year the winners were as follows:

1. Kitso Books, taking home $5000.00 in prize money,  2. Sejwalo App, taking home $300.00 in prize money; and 3. MoreLife+, taking home $2000.00 in prize money.

Born by Orange, the platform rewards innovative projects based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) which aim to improve the living conditions of people in Africa and the Middle East. This is in fields such as education, healthcare, agriculture, mobile payments and sustainable development. It is designed to reward the best innovative and socially responsible business projects, scrutinized greatly for their merit.

“A hearty congratulations to our victors for their incredible efforts, and for setting the standard yet again! As Orange Botswana, the Orange Social Venture Prize is a platform that we regard very highly. It is about celebrating the talent across Botswana and continuing to commit ourselves to growing and nurturing the youth and entrepreneurial spirit across the Nation. The ambition and objective are clear, as an organisation we recognise the importance of this global platform and the start-up growth and development to Botswana,” said Orange Botswana CEO, Dr. Patrick Benon,

Orange Botswana continues to strive to be the preferred digital partner for social entrepreneurs and digital start-ups in Botswana. The Orange Social Venture Prize plays an inherent role in this way, promoting the use of digital technologies for social and economic development in under-served communities in Africa and the Middle East. 

The Orange Social Venture Prize competition takes place in two phases: National phase, during which each of the 17 participating Orange businesses across Africa and the Middle East assess the projects submitted in their respective countries, with a view towards selecting 3 winners per country. This means a total of 51 National winners. Kitso Books, Sejwalo App and MoreLife+ have successfully been named victors in this phase for 2019.

The other is the International phase, whereby all 51 National winners compete for an International Grand Prize, which is presented to the 3 final winners at the AfricaCom Awards event. The 3 winners will receive 25,000 Euro, 15,000 Euro and 10,000 Euro respectively, as well as six months of customised digital mentoring and advice from Orange experts. These international awards complete the various prizes delivered locally to all winners.

“Orange Botswana will continue to encourage the growth and success of start-ups across Botswana. We encourage all those eligible to apply for this great initiative and to recognize this opportunity for what it is: an opportunity to change the story of their business for the better. It an opportunity to truly make their mark and a difference to not only theirs but the lives of fellow Batswana," said Dr. Benon.

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