• September 15, 2023

James Samba of Sierra Electric tells his story on winning the 2023 Orange Social Venture Prize National Grand Prize

James Samba of Sierra Electric tells his story on winning the 2023 Orange Social Venture Prize National Grand Prize
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As I reflect on this incredible journey, I’m humbled and thrilled to share that Sierra Electric has emerged as the winner of the Orange Social Venture Prize National Grand Prize 2023. This achievement is not just a victory for our project; it’s a triumph for the vision of a cleaner, more sustainable Sierra Leone.

The genesis of Sierra Electric was rooted in a deeply personal story. Growing up in Sierra Leone, I witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by my uncle, Jeremiah, who was a wheelchair user. His lack of accessible transportation options not only limited his mobility but also exposed him to the dangers of the road. Tragically, the emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles contributed to his deteriorating health, eventually leading to his passing. This heart-wrenching experience ignited a spark within me to create a solution that could address these critical issues.

Sierra Electric’s journey began with a simple yet powerful idea: to revolutionize transportation in Sierra Leone through sustainable and inclusive electric vehicles. Our mission was clear – to provide affordable, eco-friendly transportation options that prioritize the well-being of our citizens and our environment. With this mission at our core, we embarked on a path of innovation and hard work.

Winning the Orange Social Venture Prize National Grand Prize is an affirmation that our efforts are making a meaningful impact. The recognition validates the countless hours spent refining our solution, conducting market research, and collaborating with passionate team members. But this victory is not just about us; it’s a testament to the collective dedication of everyone who believes in our vision. To our team, supporters, and partners and Orange Sierra Leone, I extend my deepest gratitude. This award is a shared success that wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you.

The impact of Sierra Electric extends beyond the award. With the prize comes a renewed sense of responsibility and an even greater drive to make a difference. Our project’s vision aligns perfectly with the pressing global need to reduce carbon emissions, combat air pollution, and ensure transportation accessibility for all. As we move forward, we are committed to translating this recognition into action and scaling our operations.

Our journey continues as we focus on expanding our retrofitting services and introducing the improved BYKA Electric Quadricycle, Version 2. This new version incorporates valuable lessons learned and feedback from our users, ensuring that we are delivering a product that meets their needs effectively.

The Orange Social Venture Prize has not only provided us with a platform to showcase our work but also inspired us to push the boundaries of innovation and impact. With the opportunity to compete on an international stage, we are excited to share our story with a wider audience and learn from fellow change-makers from around the world.

In conclusion, winning the 2023 Orange Social Venture Prize National Grand Prize is a milestone that encourages us to dream bigger and work harder. It signifies the potential of what can be achieved when determination meets purpose. Sierra Electric is not just a project; it’s a movement that aims to redefine transportation, improve lives, and protect our planet. With this recognition, we are more motivated than ever to drive change and create a brighter, greener future for Sierra Leone.

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