Startup Europe Awards

Ochola is the Belgian winner of Startup Europe Awards 2017 in the category creative

Country: Belgium

Category: Creative

Project aim: A bridge to Africa. Ochola was born out of the vision of the founders to change the world at least a bit. We live in a world of globalisation and changes that happen faster than ever. Many people feel left behind in that process, in Europe and also on other continents. With this knowledge in mind we had the idea that we can contribute to this immense challenge in a positive way.


What we want to achieve?

We want to help bringing Africa and Europe, which have very close links that many are not even aware of, stronger together and enable people on both sides of the continents to participate and enjoy globalisation and wealth.

What we are looking for?

Our focus is Art, Fashion, and all around “made by Africans” with a high level of quality. We promote talents in order to be also commercially successful. We believe that with the right impulse many people can contribute to their own wealth without being receivers of good will and development aid. There is a huge amount of talents in both continents and they need to be inspired to develop their will.

What is Ochola?

Ochola is situated in the Centre of Europe, in Brussels right in the middle between the European Quarter and Place Jourdan. This is the cradle of Ochola: The “Espace Ochola”, a friendly place where people meet and discover all kinds of Products and Art made by Africans. Ochola is    organising events, exhibitions and facilitate artists and producers to show their talent and to sell their products. Ochola is a bridge between cultures and people, a space of diversity. We work     for valuing talents and abilities, where the human stands in the centre and the “made by Africans” receives a new and positive dimension.

How we started?

Ochola was facing tipical issues as many start-ups: resources in all respect are limited. And here we could experience for the first time the immense solidarity of Europeans and Africans: families and friends all helped and contributed to the success of the first year with a large amount of events and happenings that all went tremendously well and in a wonderful atmosphere.  We are only at the beginning of a huge and fantastic journey and we expect a lot of adventures on the way. The Starting point is Europe and the target is to build a bridge to Africa – or maybe the other way around – anyhow, we wish a success for our venture for the good on both sides.

“This nomination is rather unexpected. But the honour which is manifested  by this award is  immense. We are recognised and appreciated with our activity so shortly after starting. I am very proud of what we all achieved together! We are Ochola, we are talent promoters.” Christiane Akpo, Ochola´s CEO.