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Ben & Jerry’s to put social entrepreneurs on tubs of ice cream in €10k ‘Join Our Core’ contest

1 February 2012
Join our Core logo with cows

Udderly inspirational: "Join our Core and scoop for change!"

Social entrepreneurs around Europe have the chance to scoop 10,000 Euros and put their names on tubs of ice cream in a groundbreaking contest launched today by Ben & Jerry’s and Ashoka.

The ice cream company says it is looking for ‘the next better business’ with its Join Our Core competition.

“At a time when more questions are being asked about the attitudes of traditional businesses to social justice, the environment and communities, this is an udderly fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs with a passion for sustainability and changing the way business is done in Europe,” the ice cream pioneers said today.

The competition will scour Europe in search of the brightest young minds who can create a business that embraces the ice cream pioneer’s philosophy of giving back to the community.

Successful entrants will get the chance to pitch their business idea to a panel of industry leaders – including Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, and representatives from Ashoka, VSO and the Fairtrade Foundation.

‘When we set-up the company in 1978, Ben and I always believed giving back to the community was as important as making great tasting ice-cream,” said Jerry. “That’s why I am really excited about this competition, to find business models with those same values that still lead us today.”

The initiative is based on Ben & Jerry’s belief that as businesses prosper they should share their prosperity as responsible community members.

“Join Our Core is about driving positive change that could help individuals around the world,” says Ilaria Ida’, Ben & Jerry’s European Social Mission Manager. “We would love to see more socially-minded start-ups making a difference and showing that values-led businesses can prosper even in tough economic times.”

The first 100 ‘keen beans’, entering by 15 March, will all scoop the equivalent of a year supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Then 25 entrepreneurial semi-finalists will be invited to present their ideas to the judging panel in London. The 15 finalists chosen by the panel will be whisked off to Africa for the last stage of the program with development gurus VSO, where they will share social business ideas, live with vanilla farmers and help local development projects in their community.

The five overall winners will scoop themselves a €10,000 cash prize and they will be featured on a Ben & Jerry’s tub.

There will also be a ‘People’s Choice Award’, where the Join Our Core community will pick five winners who will each receive €1,000 in cash.

Further information about the Join Our Core competition, full details on how to enter and the prizes on offer, visit www.joinourcore.com. Entrants need to be living in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden or the Netherlands, and be aged between 18 and 34.

SocialEnterpriselive's sister company, Matter&Co, has been working with Ben & Jerry's and Ashoka to create a series of film interviews with some of Ashoka's most inspiring social entrepreneurs, whose stories and insights reflect the same values, passion and business drive as the young social innovators that the contest aims to unearth. Details and links are on the Matter&Co news page and you can watch our interview with Faisel Rahman below:

 

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