Today Ben & Jerry’s embarks on its European search to uncover the brightest young minds that can create a business embracing the ice cream pioneer’s philosophy of giving back to the community.
Successful entrants will have to pitch their business idea to a panel of industry leaders – including Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, as well as 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,” says Jerry. “That’s why I am really excited about this competition, to find business models with those same values that still lead us today.”
Ben & Jerry’s believe that as businesses grow they should share their prosperity as responsible community members, and are looking for entrepreneurs that share that vision.
At a time when more questions are being asked about the attitudes of traditional business to social justice, the environment and communities, this is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs with a passion for sustainability and changing the way business is done in Europe.
“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 entrants, who submit early application – before 15 March, will scoop the equivalent of a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Entrants will have until the 15th April to put themselves forward, with 25 entrepreneurial semi-finalists being invited to present their ideas to the judging panel in London in May.
The 15 finalists chosen by the panel will be taken to Africa this summer 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.
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.
For further information about the Join Our Core competition visit: www.joinourcore.com