Social Enterprise Competition Announces Response to Urgent Need for Global Action, Splitting $1m Prize Between All 26 Finalists
LONDON, April 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading blended Scotch whisky, Chivas, has announced today that due to the current global COVID-19 outbreak, this year's Chivas Venture $1 million fund will be distributed evenly amongst the 26 global finalists, including Australian's Okra Solar, with immediate effect.
Now in its sixth year, the Chivas Venture gives away $1m in no-strings funding to startups who blend profit with purpose to have a positive impact on the world. This year's competition has seen 26 social enterprises selected from 26 countries, across five continents, with Okra Solar winning the local final in Australia. Okra Solar – who was due to pitch for a share of the fund at a Global Final in June - will now receive $40,000 in funding, which can be put towards creating positive change at a testing time for people across the globe.
Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard comments: "It is with great sadness that we have decided to cut short this year's Chivas Venture competition due to the impact COVID-19 is having across the world. Now more than ever, our world needs the passion and dedication of those who want to bring about positive change. That's why we have decided that each of our finalists should be provided with secure funding now, so they can continue their important work and continue to positively impact their communities in spite of these volatile conditions, which will be particularly challenging for fledgling businesses and the communities they serve."
This year's finalists have found unique and creative ways to tackle a wide range of social, environmental and economic challenges, many of which have been exacerbated by the global pandemic, especially in at risk, or isolated communities. Okra Solar designs and develops plug-and-play smart grid technology to provide tools specifically for energy utilities in countries with large off-grid populations, ensuring remote communities have access to sustainable power solutions.
"We are extremely grateful to have been a part of this year's Chivas Venture and the opportunity this has given Okra Solar. Due to the current global pandemic, we fully understand and support the decision to curtail the competition and split the prize between so many worthy social entrepreneurs. The decision will help us continue to make a positive impact in a multitude of communities." - Damian Veling, Co-founder of Okra Solar.
To date, the Chivas Venture has given away $5 million in no-strings funding to social startups who have positively impacted over 2 million lives across 50 countries – driving major change, including providing 34 million litres of safe drinking water to communities, recycling 1,300 tonnes of waste, helping over 2,500 farmers' families out of poverty and funding over 75,000 days of education for women and girls.
Just as Chivas champions the perfect blend of malt and grain whiskies in its Scotch, the Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs who blend profit and purpose to have a positive impact on the world. To find out more about the Chivas Venture and to learn more about this year's finalists, visit www.chivas.com/the-venture or follow on Twitter @ChivasVenture.
Chivas Venture Finalists by Country
Mamotest's central objective is to reduce the death rate of breast cancer
Okra Solar designs and develops technology to give access to energy and
Oak Tree Projects
Danae Van Dan Bossche
Oak Tree Projects provides affordable, co-housing accommodation for
Raizs is an online platform that connects organic farmers directly with
Enova H2O develops innovative instruments and services for better and
Tandem helps greenhouse gas emitters across a range of industries
Wheel the World
Wheel the World is a web platform where users can easily find and book
P.E.T. creates textiles made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Through
Recupera Tu Silla
Recupera tu Silla is a furniture restoration business with both
England & Wales
WASE develops decentralised wastewater treatment systems that
100mentors connect students from underprivileged schools with mentors,
Pandobac is an ecological and sustainable, zero-waste solution that offers
HomeBiogas produces a unique appliance that transforms organic waste
Lorenzo Di Ciaccio
Pedius is an app that allows the hard of hearing to 'hear' phone calls by
MyMizu is Japan's first free water refill platform that guides people to
Green-Nettle Textile creates fabric from stinging nettles. By converting the
Graviti offers bolt-on financing for basic services such as hot water and
Brian Tsuyoshi Takeda
Urchinomics is solving the sea urchin problem by turning them into a useful
Soupah's mission is to tackle inefficiencies in the food supply chain in
MakeGrowLab is working towards a future of plastic-free packaging
Crover has created a small robotic device capable of moving within grain
Gabriela Chang Valdovinos
EthicHub is a global solution to generate affordable funds for smallholder
Hustlenomics creates opportunities for women and youths by training them
YoungHappy is a happy community for senior citizens, providing events
Strella creates biosensing platforms that can predict the ripeness of
Cricket One reduces agricultural waste and creates a valuable protein