Ben & Jerry’s competition encourages sustainability

Amercian ice-cream giants Ben & Jerry's have launched a new competition in a bid to encourage socially responsible entrepreneurs to give back to the environment and community.

As part of the competition ‘Join Our Core’, which launched last week (February 1), start-ups from across Europe are being urged to put their sustainable business ideas forwards for the chance to scoop a €10,000 cash prize.

The competition has been put forward by Ben & Jerry’s, which says it believes as businesses grow they should “share their prosperity as responsible community members”.

As a result, it is looking for entrepreneurs that share its vision, along with a “passion for sustainability and changing the way business is done in Europe”.

Mr Greenfield said: ‘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. That’s why I am really excited about this competition, to find business models with those same values that still lead us today.”

The 25 semi-finalists will be required to pitch their business idea to a panel of industry leaders in London in May 2012, including Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, representatives from global social entrepreneurship organisation Ashoka, VSO and the Fairtrade Foundation.

The final deadline for applications is April 15 and the first 100 entrants will scoop the equivalent of a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s.

Winners will also be offered mentoring from Ashoka and the opportunity to see their business name on tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

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Carys Matthews

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