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Chivas unveils $1m global search for startups

Chivas Regal has launched the Chivas Venture 2018 – a global search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed while changing the world for the better.

Since the Chivas Venture first launched globally in 2014, almost 6,000 social entrepreneurs applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. In this fourth edition, 29 countries from five continents are taking part – all of which are looking to find their most talented local entrepreneurs to compete on a global stage. One winner will be selected from each country and given the chance to take part in an exclusive Accelerator Programme – followed by three weeks of online voting where the allocation of the first $200,000 of the fund will be put into the hands of the public. The Chivas Venture 2018 will then culminate in a series of high-stake pitches at the Chivas Venture Final, where the remainder of the $1 million fund will be distributed.

Chivas Regal has continued its partnership with E.D.C – the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria – for this years’ initiative, to find and support promising local social entrepreneurs across all sectors.

The top three participants will pitch their business plans at a finale session to a panel of seasoned judges that consists of Afua Osei, Shola Ladoja and Oluyomi Ojo. The 2017 Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles saw five enterprising grand finalists pitch to a panel of judges that included Oscar-winning actress and philanthropist, Halle Berry, in front of a live audience of business leaders, influencers and Hollywood stars including Javier Bardem, Josh Gad and Don Cheadle.

Thailand’s Siam Organic, which aims to end small-scale farmers’ poverty, walked away with the largest sum from the Chivas Venture fund, receiving $400,000. Nigeria’s Chioma Ukonu, COO of RecyclePoints, an incentive based recycling scheme has emerged as the first runner-up, receiving $200,000.

The Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs                                                                             believe the world can be better, and use business as a force for good. Previous finalists of the competition aspire to a future where waste is recycled into housing, furniture and fashion, clean water is accessible to the world’s population, and poverty tax is eradicated. The $2 million given away over the first two years of the competition has been used to support startups that now have over 300,000 beneficiaries in more than 40 countries across the globe.

Chivas believes that generosity and success go hand in hand – a belief inspired by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who shared their success with the local community as their business grew, through contributions within the church, education and social support. The Chivas Venture aims to honour their legacy and support their modern counterparts – entrepreneurs who believe that sharing their success with society is when business becomes truly rewarding.

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas Regal, commented: “Through our annual $1m fund, we have been able to accelerate the growth of some of the world’s most socially valuable businesses – which are now demonstrating real impact across the globe.

“We inherited from our founders a firm commitment to using business as a force for good – and I cannot wait to see this year’s business ideas that might truly help shape our collective future for the better.”

Craig Van Niekerk, Marketing Director for Chivas Regal Nigeria, added: “We were incredibly proud of our local winner, Chioma Ukonu of RecyclePoints who won $200,000 for her business at the global finals and gone on to achieve more success. This year, we hope to find another entrepreneur whose business is not only relevant locally but can solve a global need. I’m confident that such a venture exists here in Nigeria.”

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