Ben & Jerry’s has announced winners of its first ever crowdfunding initiative as part of its Join Our Core campaign – which it launched with Ashoka back in 2012 to select and support the next generation of leading social entrepreneurs.
The ice-cream company invited social entrepreneurs from across Europe to enter their values-led ventures into a competition to win the tools to launch a crowdfunding campaign backed by Ben & Jerry’s.
Selected by an expert panel, two finalists – Tom Harris from We Walk The Line and Caroline Angus from GravityLight – beat stiff competition from across the UK to be crowned “Winners of Join Our Core 2015”. The winning entries have bagged themselves a unique package of support, including training, funding and publicity.
This year Ben & Jerry’s created a new and improved version of Join Our Core with a bigger prize package for the winners. By doing so, it became the first company to launch a Europe-wide crowdfunding initiative, designed to support the next generation of social entrepreneurs. The company is backing the Join Our Core winners’ campaigns by providing them with 20% of their crowdfunding campaign financial target, as well as amplification of their campaigns across Ben & Jerry’s digital and social media channels and business mentoring from parent company Unilever. The winners will also receive a trip to Ben & Jerry’s HQ in Vermont, USA.
Ed Shepherd, Social Mission Manager at Ben & Jerry’s, said: “We’re excited to announce the winners of our ‘Join Our Core’ campaign and play our part in taking these values-led ventures to the next level. This year we decided to up the ante and created a bigger support package for the winners, with the additional training and an all-important crowdfunding element for businesses that reflect our values.”
Since its launch in 2012, Join Our Core has supported 25 social entrepreneurs across the world with business mentoring, prizes and publicity and over €250,000 in funding. The partnership has also created a wider network of over 50 leading social entrepreneurs since the start of the campaign.