Ben & Jerry’s launches search for ethical start-ups

Ice cream brand scouts Europe’s brightest young social entrepreneurs

The founders of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand have launched a search to find entrepreneurs with an ethical approach to business. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who started their eponymous business in 1978, have earned global acclaim for their efforts to cut emissions and pursue carbon neutrality. Now they on the lookout for socially responsible young entrepreneurs who share their philosophy. The European ‘Ben and Jerry’s: Join Our Core’ competition will offer entrants a …10,000 cash prize, mentoring from social enterprise specialist Ashoka, and the opportunity to have their names emblazoned on tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Furthermore, the first 100 entrants to submit before March 15, will receive the equivalent of a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The final deadline for submissions is April 15, after which 25 semi-finalists will be invited to London in May. There they will pitch their business idea to a panel including co-founder Greenfield, as well as representatives from Ashoka and the Fairtrade Foundation. The judges will select 15 entrepreneurs to go through to the final. These finalists will then be taken to Uganda this summer, with development agency VSO; where they will live with vanilla farmers, share social business ideas and work on development projects in the community. Eventually, five overall winners will be selected to each receive a …10,000 cash prize and a profile on a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tub. However, the brand’s customers will choose a further five winners, who will each receive the People’s Choice Award of …1,000 cash. Greenfield said: “Ben and I always believed giving back to the community was as important as making great tasting ice cream. That’s why I’m really excited about this competition, to find business models with those same values that still lead us today.” For more information or to enter the competition, visit the Join Our Core website.

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