Chivas launches $1m competition for social start-ups

Melting Pot founder Claire Carpenter will be hosting an event as part of Chivas Regal's $1m competition for social enterprises. Picture: Gareth Easton

Melting Pot founder Claire Carpenter will be hosting an event as part of Chivas Regal's $1m competition for social enterprises. Picture: Gareth Easton

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Whisky brand Chivas Regal has launched the second instalment of its $1 million (£657,000) competition aimed at not-for-profit social entrepreneurs.

To mark the launch of this year’s The Venture competition, the distiller will be taking part in an event at the Melting Pot social enterprise hub on Edinburgh’s Rose Street on Wednesday.

Melting Pot founder Claire Carpenter will host the “social entrepreneurs chat show”, featuring Gehan Macleod, co-founder of Glasgow-based craft timber and boat-building enterprise GalGael Trust, Pauline Gallacher of Neilston Development Trust and Danielle Trudeau, founding director of Portobello co-working venture Tribe Porty.

The event, aimed at raising awareness of the work being done through the social enterprises, will be followed by networking and whisky tasting with Chivas brand manager Will Carpenter.

Last year’s UK winner of The Venture, which attracted entries from more than 1,000 start-ups from around the world, was Two Fingers Brewing Co, a craft beer maker that gives its profits to Prostate Cancer UK.

The competition is open to any for-profit start-up that “creates both financial value and a positive impact on the lives of others”.

This year, the UK finalist will receive an additional £10,000 of prize money and business mentoring, as well as the chance to compete with social entrepreneurs from more than 25 countries for a share of the $1m fund as part of the global final.

All finalists will also take part in The Venture’s “accelerator week”, where they will receive training and advice.

Will Waldron, co-founder of Two Fingers Brewing Co, said: “We saw The Venture as the ideal launchpad to turbocharge the growth of the company.

“It has been a fantastic boost in profile for us, leading to multiple domestic and international enquiries and helping to open up distribution to over 16,000 on-trade venues in the UK as part of Matthew Clark’s Boutique Beers range.”

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