Orange Social Venture Prize 2020

Innovation SL- Freetown Pitch Night, for the second year organized the Orange Social Venture Prize Sierra Leone.

What is the OSVP?

The Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and Middle-East aims at promoting Social Innovation for development, thanks to information and communication technologies. Having become a benchmark contest, the Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East (POESAM) rewards the best technological projects with a positive impact in Africa and the Middle East.  The competition is organised in two stages: first a national competition in 17 countries; then an international jury chooses the Grand Prix winners.

OSVP Sierra Leone

OSVP Sierra Leone is part of Orange’s  Innovation Strategy and its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy,  organised in partnership with Innovation SL- Freetown Pitch Night. The competition is open to both Males and Females, aged 21 years and above, whose business ideas or businesses have existed for less than three years, and propose technological solutions with a  positive impact in essential fields such as education, healthcare, agriculture, mobile payment or sustainable development, to improve the living conditions of women (women’s independence, creating or maintaining jobs, data collection on gender, digital inclusion and financial inclusion, etc.).  This year’s competition is the OSVP 2nd edition held in Sierra Leone, since 2019.

Innovation SL /GEN SL/Freetown Pitch Night: Implementing Partner

The Freetown Pitch Night is the most successful gathering of entrepreneurs, a crucial and perhaps the most significant part of the Networking assets of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sierra Leone. The Freetown Pitch Night provides budding entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone the opportunity to pitch their ideas or post revenue business. At Pitch Night entrepreneurs provide a holistic view of their business to a vibrant Sierra Leonean entrepreneur community, allowing them to market their business, and solicit feedback, advice and potential partnerships. 

Freetown Pitch Night is run by Innovation SL, an Entrepreneurship Support Organisation (ESO) and an Innovation & Technology Management company that engages in the following;

  • Developing digital and technology solutions; contributing to a digital infrastructure to enable the development and growth of digital entrepreneurs.
  • Own Co working space, Incubator and Accelerator (Innovations Axis)
  • Freetown Pitch Night – a monthly pitch event;
  • Implementation partners for Global Entrepreneurship Network – GEN Sierra Leone. Running several programs- Start Up Huddle, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Future Agro Challenge, Creative Business Cup, Entrepreneurship World Cup
  • A service provider focusing on technology transfer; business development services; enhancing the role of Innovation in the public sector; and entrepreneurship development through donor funding.
  • Providing contextual intelligence and insight to SMEs/others in Sierra Leone to enable innovation and growth.
  • dialoguing and engaging for and on entrepreneurship development with interested stakeholders including government (national and local), development partners and academia.

OSVP Event Details

The 2nd Edition of the OSVP competition was held live on Sierra Leone Broadcasting corporation (SLBC) National TV, and streamed live on Freetown’s PitchNight facebook page,  on the 25th  September, 2020.

Prior to final selection for national pitchers, application screening, assessments and evaluation by different judges was done and five(5)  startups were selected. Another assessment by different judges led to the selection of  the top three  finalists who pitched at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation( SLBC) National TV.

The top five startups for this years competition;

  1. Mark Aiah Fomba

Digital Money Transfer using Automatic Telling Machine-ATM- Local ATM

This machine is a Digital electronic based payment system that allows people to carry out their simple banking operations or transaction in an easy,  safe and secure manner, and without a bank account.  You  simply receive a pin code that enables you to cash out your money with a minimum charge rate.

  • Isatu Mozetta Kabbia

Ebocare:Body Wash

Ebocare is a natural homemade body wash that   cleanses and replenishes all skin types.

  1. Yusif Erik Lakoh                                                     

KepifriSoap/DetergentManufacturing Enterprise (KeSMen-SL)

KepifriSoap/DetergentManufacturing Enterprise is a Soap processing and manufacturing  company.

  • Isata Jalloh 

Stem Garage

 Stem garage is a proposed flagship of projects 1835 which hopes to help  young people access coding and other fourth industrial revolution skill sets in Bo city.

  • Bayoh Turay

Salone Agric Markit

Tech builder is an information technology company that is focusing on building an online agricultural platform that gives accessibility to both farmers and buyers to inter-connect worldwide as well as locally.  

OSVP 2020, National competition Judges 

Emeka Okafor

He is the Curator of TED Global in Africa, Co-Founder of the TED Fellows program and Maker Faire Africa, and author of the publicly acclaimed blogs, Timbuktu Chronicles (entrepreneurship, science, and technology in Africa) and Africa Unchained (governance, policy, education, and institutional development in Africa). Okafor recently co-founded KICHIN, a West African food & beverage accelerator aimed at rapidly scaling existing food entrepreneurs with high-growth potential (KICHIN is currently seeking additional investors and partners–message him if you’re interested in talking).

He is a contributing author to the book, Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century (Abrams Books, 2006) and has been featured in numerous interviews, articles and blogs on science & innovation, including the NPR TED Radio Hour (Africa: The Next Chapter, 2012) and most recently in MIT’s Journal of Design & Science (Issue 4: Decentralizing Biotech, October 2018).

Okafor serves on the board of the Gearbox International Foundation and was previously a board member for Samasource. He is a former advisor to the X-Prize Foundation and Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) and was also a Global Poptech Fellow.

Okafor is an entrepreneur and venture strategist. He has advised governments and world leaders on innovation & entrepreneurship systems and policy for Africa, including President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in 2014 and the U.S. State Department at the White House Maker Faire in 2014, he spoke in the Roosevelt Room to top U.S. officials on the global impact of Africa’s Maker Movement. He has been a speaker, panelist and judge at numerous innovation events around the world, including New Museum’s IDEA City, Maker Faire Mexico City & TEDxEuston, on topics ranging from biosciences to emergent systems to the future of decentralized manufacturing.

Edleen B. Elba

Edleen B. Elba, is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and HR Practitioner with two decades of work experience within various industries across the public and private sectors. She is the Founder and Managing Director of JobSearch. She is also an IFC/LPI trained Trainer and Co-Founder of Institute of Human Resources Sierra Leone.

Memuna Janneh

Memuna Janneh is a BI & Business Systems expert and Sociopreneur, with a client footprint in over a dozen countries in Europe, USA, Middle East and Africa.

Memuna is owner/director of Sierra Leone’s premier catering and dining company, Cassava & Co and its affiliate charity LunchBoxGift (LBG).

With a strong focus on nutrition, childhood literacy and primary school education, LBG serves thousands of free school meals each year, boosting attendance and providing nutrition & sustenance to underprivileged children in Sierra Leone.

It also operates mobile library services and education radio clubs in rural communities. LBG receives no donor support for its primary activities and takes great pride in the fact that it is almost exclusively funded by the operations of Cassava & Co.

This autonomous social enterprise model enables LBG to provide responsive, flexible, purpose-built, needs-driven solutions to its beneficiaries.

For more information:

Abu Kamara

Abu Kamara has over 19 years of entrepreneurship experience.

He is the Co-Founder & President of Grovara, the 1st B2B Global Marketplace for Wellness Brands. Grovara is transforming the way retailers discover brands, gain insights and make purchases for their stores.

Grovara marketplace connects retailers with hundreds natural and organic brands, from product discovery, order processing, to payments and fulfilment, all in a single marketplace

Abu Kamara is Passionate about entrepreneurship as the key driver in development across Africa

He plans to launch an Africa Focused Venture Fund that will be HQ in Sierra Leone, to invest in startups across the continent

Alimatou Mbaye

Alimatou Mbaye is the Marketing and Communication Director at Orange Sierra leone

She came to  Sierra Leone in August 2019 after  a long experience on telecommunication, specially on team coaching and project delivery on time and quality.

Her  reality and dream is to accompany the new generation to achieve their projects with  appropriate tools of monitoring.


Bayoh Turay who pitched on an online agricultural  platform  called salone agric markit, that  gives access to both farmers and buyers to interconnect emerged the winner of the OSVP 2020 competition .

Bayoh Turay was awarded a Fly box plus Monthly subscription over a period of 1 year (fair usage policy applies), a Certificate of participation, and a  Cash Prize of SLL 20millions.

The 1st runner up, Isata Jalloh  pitched on a project that helps  young people access coding and other fourth industrial revolution skill sets in Bo city. She was awarded a Fly box plus  Monthly subscription over a period of 1 year (fair usage policy applies), a Certificate of participation, and  a Cash Prize of SLL 10millions.

The 2nd runner up Mark Aiah Fomba pitched on a  digital electronic based payment system that allows people to carry out simple banking  transactions without a bank account.  He was awarded a  Fly box plus  Monthly subscription over a period of 1 year (fair usage policy applies), a Certificate of participation and Cash Prize of SLL 5millions.

The fourth and Fifth finalists were given a Wifi plus Monthly subscription over a period of 1 year (fair usage policy applies) and Certificate  of participation  for each.CategoriesCompetitionEcosystemOSVP

Sheku Kamara -Briquettes Making Enterprises

Sheku Kamara makes briquettes from organic waste. He solves the problem of deforestation by offering his briquette as a replacement for charcoal coal.

Briquettes burns cleaner than charcoal and are also cheaper.  This means energy is saved and families have less expenditure of cooking fuel.

Briquettes are also fuel in the clean cooking space which has improved health outcomes for women (who do the cooking on open fire) and their children who are often exposed to the black sot.

Sheku’s Briquettes is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution to deforestation and indiscriminate disposal of waste in Sierra Leone. Located in Makeni, the Briquette Making Enterprise has made good progress since it started operations in 2013:

  • Acquiring a machine in 2014
  • Acquiring a tricycle in 2016
  • Starting door to door sales in 2017
  • Registering and opening an account in 2017
  • Sales increase from 400 briquettes in 2013 to 20,000 briquettes in 2018

Sheku Kamara

+232 88 304 551

+232 79 704 641

Home Leone-Social Entrepreneurship

Dream to Destiny

I have a dream! Definitely not Martin Luther king Jnr! but Nigel Hyde. Since 2003, together with his team has impacted Sierra Leone in various ways starting with the construction of the city of rest to the Saint George’s old people’s home.

Still toiling on to fulfill his calling from God and with the need to help just one more, he realized the appalling conditions Sierra Leoneans were subjected to, especially those that resides in the slums. Engulfed with fear that the next epidemic will hit them first, government laws won’t be in their favor or the heavy down pour of rain will drown their hopes again to rock bottom but more fearful that any relocation plan may strip away their livelihood, became resistant to any such initiative.

Amidst this fear, Hyde’s Home Leone initiative created a relocation plan. This time not only relocating homes and families but destinies. This safe haven located at Newton is indeed a hub for a better life, with low cost houses and the necessary social amenities. He had a dream and now he is restoring lives.

Report written by M. Salle-Kamara

Trees4prosperity- Social Entrepreneurship


Mr. Bah is known as a man that has great passion for trees.

This vibrant and an energetic Sierra Leonean left this country 20 years ago and decided to return in 2017 and establish his own tree planting business. He has had a passion for tree planting since he was a boy.

At the of age of five, he would go in the bush and make a garden their just to plant trees.  Later on, when his family built a house he planted all the economic tress in their backyard. One of his most favorite quote is ask “not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country?”

On his return to Sierra Leone, his ambition is to start planting tree which he thinks is a good thing for the country, and with trees planting he will be able to beautify the country. Further, tree planting with greenery will also help in reforesting the country ecosystem and he will be engaging youth and communities. For instance, schools and universities in various field to adapt the culture of planting trees and by so doing, he will protect the country from deforestation which has led to disaster lately like the landscape and flooding.

It is worth noting that some of tree species fight against insect like the neem-tree which is also a medicine for human beings. There are other species that can protect the country ecosystem as well said Mr. Bah.

As for now, Mr Bah has over over 100,000 seeds which 80,000 are at his nursery at Kent village which waiting to be transplanted to various locations.

He has served this country since 1984 by then he was a police officer before he went to Germany in 1997-2000 and he has been in other country as well. He wants to give back to his country, he believes in the saying that “ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country?” so in that, he want to give back to his country.

Mohamed El Tayyib-Bah

+232 79 515 007

Report written by Bilkissu Jalloh

General Report- Freetown Pitch Night-June 6th 2018-Social Entrepreneurship

The theme for June 6th’s pitch night was “Social Entrepreneurship”. With many social, cultural and environmental issues affecting Sierra Leone, this month’s night was about solving some of these pressing issues, through 4 inspiring social entrepreneurs; Sheku Kamara of Briquette Making Enterprise, Noellen Barber of Nianda Agriculture and Trading Company, Mohamed El Tayyib-Bah of Trees4Prosperity and Nigel Hyde of Home Leone.

The cosy and interactive audience made up of 50+ attendees included the GEN SL team, sponsors of Freetown Pitch Night, the guest speaker, executives of companies and organisations, young professionals and students.

Guest speaker Dr. Derrin Smith, Counsellor for Commercial & Economic Affairs, US Embassy, Freetown, spoke about the Economic and Commercial Section of the US Embassy, it’s activities and the US’s transition from AID to Private investment in Sierra Leone.

What a better way is there to share ideas, contacts, information and resources with so many interesting people, than with food and drinks? The Freetown Pitch Night gives its audience such an opportunity to network at the end of the event, so most attendees were reluctant to leave early.

The four (4) pitches were as follows:

Briquette Making Enterprise

Sheku’s Briquettes is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution to deforestation and indiscriminate disposal of waste in Sierra Leone. Located in Makeni, the Briquette Making Enterprise has made good progress since it started operations in 2013:

  • Acquiring a machine in 2014
  • Acquiring a tricycle in 2016
  • Starting door to door sales in 2017
  • Registering and opening an account in 2017
  • Sales increase from 400 briquettes in 2013 to 20,000 briquettes in 2018

Sheku Kamara

+232 88 304 551

+232 79 704 641


Nianda Agriculture and Trading Company

With $15m worth of onions imported into Sierra Leone annually Nianda Seeds, a major promoter of onions in Sierra Leone, sees an opportunity to support and train vegetable farmers (especially women and young people) to improve yield and increase income. Nianda Seeds uses market principles and forces to meet poverty alleviation, the first goal of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The company operates as the sole distributor of hybrid vegetable seeds and seedlings to smallholder farmers and businesses countywide and has introduced onion farming in Kailahun, Kenema and Moyamba.

Noellen Barber

+232 76 743 055

+232 88 686 488



Deforestation → Drought → Concrete jungle → Environmental degradation are environmental issues Trees4Prosperity wants to solve by the nursing of millions of trees. These trees include acacia, neem, tectona and moringa, with 80,000 seeds nursed at the Kent site so far. Neem and moringa, with their unique properties, would not only make the city greener but also add aesthetic value. Trees4Prosperity’s solution also has a youth and community employment component to it.

Mohamed El Tayyib-Bah

+232 79 515 007


Home Leone

After years of research of slums in Freetown, Home Leone developed a solution to relocate 2000 people from these slums to the pilot “Destiny Village’ (25 acres near 4 Mile, Newton). The relocation has six (6) pillars:

  • Housing – 350 x 2 or 3 bedrooms
  • Businesses = Sustainability
  • Education & Schooling
  • Healthcare
  • Power
  • Water & Sanitation

Home Leone is an enabling social enterprise, a movement and builder of homes and infrastructure.

Nigel Hyde

+232 80 740 333

+44 7 961 576 769

Report Written by Davephine Tholley


Trees 4 Prosperity- Freetown Pitch Night-June 6th 2018


Tayyib Bah has had a passion for planting since he was a schoolboy. He left this country and returned to find the city that he loved a concrete jungle. Further to that he has seen the effects of deforestation that has led to serious environmental degradation which includes the landslide.

He has embarked on a journey of major reforestation, with plants that not only solve the lack of greenery but that solves and addresses other problems as well. Through his green crusade he also seeks to engage youth and their communities in sustaining the “reforestation” of Sierra Leone. Come and hear how.

Our core Area

’s main focus include the restoration of the vegetation of Freetown and the entire country as well as turning the country’s main cities green.


To make tree-planting a hobby for every Sierra Leonean to ensure primordial  forest land restoration, environmental education and community development.


Home Leone-Social Entrepreneurship in Action!

“Home Leone is the start of a movement that we believe can close Freetown’s slums in less than 25 years”.
Come hear Nigel Hyde pitch on June 6th 2018 at 232. Doors open at 18:30.

Home Leone is Social Entrepreneurship in Action!

The need is urgent and significant. Tonight, one in five of Freetown’s residents will sleep in a room with 10 or more people. 94% of homes have no flush toilet and hundreds of thousands live in some of the worst slums on earth. The need was brought in to sharp focus when last August a mudslide killed so many. The floods of 2015 and fires in Fort Street, Susans Bay and Cockle Bay demand our attention. It is clear that many thousands of people are in “danger of death@ from landslide, flood and fire, if not urgently relocated.

To date we have interviewed over 400 families ready for the move and the first 20 family heads are
already in the village employed and helping to build their homes. In July they, with their families (over 100 people) will move to the new homes.

A landmark moment for sustainable relocation in Sierra Leone. They pay rent in cash and in giving 3 hours a week community service. In 20 years they own their own homes in this extraordinary “rent to buy” scheme.

The theme for the Freetown Pitch Night June 6th event is “Social Entrepreneurship

The theme for the Freetown Pitch Night June 6th event is “Social Entrepreneurship”.

The World Economic Forum describes Social Entrepreneurship as “A term that captures a unique approach to economic and social problems, an approach that cuts across sectors and disciplines grounded in certain values and processes that are common to each social entrepreneur, independent of whether his/ her area of focus has been education, health, welfare reform, human rights, workers’ rights, environment, economic development, agriculture, etc., or whether the organizations they set up are non-profit or for-profit entities”.

Do you have an idea or a business that is applying practical, innovative and sustainable approaches to benefit Sierra Leonean society in general, with an emphasis on those who are marginalized and poor?.

Does your business focuses first and foremost on the social and/or ecological value creation and tries to optimize the financial value creation in Sierra Leone?

Are you using market principles and forces to meet poverty alleviation goals?

Are you innovating by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem?

Will you like to pitch your idea or post revenue business at the Freetown Pitch Night in June? Send an email to- with a short summary of your idea or business description.