From 29 May to 8 July 2019, EDF invites African entrepreneurs to participate in a call for projects as part of the 3rd edition of EDF Pulse Africa Competition Award. Key objective: spotlighting and supporting African entrepreneurs committed to the development of African energy industry. Endowments ranging from 5 000 to 15 000 Euros as well as a comprehensive support programme are at stake. For this 3rd edition of the contest, EDF has made two major organisational changes: in addition to start-ups, the competition is now open to African SMEs; projects will be screened much closer to their actual location by conducting EDF Pulse Africa Tours covering 7 countries where the EDF Group is active.
With its EDF Pulse Africa awards, EDF is seeking to encourage entrepreneurial ambition in Africa, with two objectives in mind:
- Identifying potential partners for EDF in Africa by unearthing the continent’s technological nuggets
- Supporting innovation by offering local entrepreneurs access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem.
For the first time ever, the competition is also being opened up to African SMEs with less than 50 employees. Often the source of novel projects, a number of them are faced with the same challenges as start-ups, such as access to funds and operational support enabling them to move from the planning phase to commercial roll-out. Through this initiative, EDF is seeking to assert its position as an essential player when it comes to driving entrepreneurial innovation in Africa, whilst at the same time expanding the pool of future partners.
Another key new feature: EDF its diversifying its project-screening methods so that it can proactively verify the match between the type of project, the local economy’s requirements and EDF’s business activities in the region.
Following project-screening through the registration platform, entrants from 7 countries where EDF operates (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Togo) will be invited to present their projects to a local panel of experts. This will be arranged in conjunction with African incubators and institutional partners. Selected projects will directly be entered into the final stage of the competition, which will take place in Paris. Entrants from the 47 other African countries will be pre-selected using the same criteria as in previous years via the on-line platform: www.africa-pulse.edf.com
In addition to project development endowments ranging from 5 000 to 15 000 Euros, prize-winners will be comprehensively supported:
- Operational/financial advice
- Project development partnerships with local players such as "Energy Generation" (incubator and training centre specifically geared towards energy start-ups, based in Togo) and with EDF experts, via its subsidiary EDF Pulse Croissance (www.edf.fr/pulse/croissance)
- Access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem: EDF’s own R&D and creativity labs
Valérie Levkov, EDF’s Senior Vice President in charge of the Group’s Africa business: "Since the launch of the EDF Pulse Africa Award Competition in 2017, EDF has provided 8 African start-ups with support. In its first two years of existence, the competition also helped us to build up a network of African incubators and training organisations to provide continuous and locally-based oversight. We are now making the competition’s framework evolve in order to reveal, directly in the field, new technologies and products that will address the African continent’s energy challenges as well as aligning them with our business portfolio in Africa".
- 29 May to 8 July: Registration of entrants on the https://africa-pulse.edf.com/ platform
- September to October: Pre-selection of entrants via the platform and local panels for the following countries:
SENEGAL: Thursday 12 September in Dakar
GHANA: Tuesday 17 September in Accra
SOUTH AFRICA: Thursday 19 September in Johannesburg
COTE D’IVOIRE: Tuesday 24 September in Abidjan
TOGO: Tuesday 1 October in Lomé
CAMEROON: Thursday 3 October in Yaoundé
- 21 November: Final and prize-giving ceremony in Paris
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