Tech entrepreneur and creative innovator will.i.am was in Amsterdam yesternight to help select and crown the winner of the Chivas Venture 2018 – Chivas Regal’s global competition that gives away $1million in no-strings funding every year to the world’s most promising social startups. From 27 finalists, U.K. enterprise Change Please walked away with the greatest amount of funding, receiving $350,000 following a live pitch at Europe’s leading tech festival, TNW Conference, in front of thousands of international tech enthusiasts, investors and entrepreneurs.
Change Please empowers the homeless community by training them to be baristas. The London-based startup takes the homeless off the streets and ensures they find housing within 10 days – as well as providing bank accounts and jobs paying the London Living Wage. Their coffee, served in environmentally-friendly cups, is responsibly sourced from farms that support local communities in need.
This year’s competition attracted 2,600 entries from across the world, which were whittled down to 27 finalists all competing for a share of Chivas Regal’s $1million fund. The judging panel – which comprised will.i.am, Founder & CEO, I.AM.PLUS; Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard – parent company of Chivas Regal; Sheila Herrling, Senior Fellow at The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation; and Kresse Wesling MBE, Co-Founder and Director of sustainable luxury brand Elvis & Kresse – assessed each startup based on their ability to create sustainable change through a viable business model and potential to scale.
Kenyan finalist Papu Haroon who attended the finals event said: “I am glad to have participated in the Chivas venture competition. What I have learned through this journey will take my business to greater levels and improve the lives of the community back home.”
Papu made it to the semi-finals stage, garnering a lot of support from Kenyans on social media and here’s why:
Kilifi Moringa supports hundreds of smallholder women farmers to grow Moringa and sell the seeds back to them. The seeds are turned into oil for the cosmetics industry, allowing us to connect the poorest women to the most affluent women in the world and feed hundreds of children.
Kilifi Moringa Estates so far employs over 300 workers on its Estate and provides mechanisms and compensation to guarantee workers’ benefits, comfort, health and occupational safety. KME provides for on-site health, day-care/educational, mealtime and social facilities for workers and their dependent children.
Their main products include:
Moringa seed-oil – the Moringa Oleifera plant yields at least two other commercially viable products
Leaf products, used in: food additives, tea-leaves and infusions, health supplements.
Seed-Cake, used in: water flocculator / purification, fertilizer, energy generation
As an Africa-based project where women are the primary caretakers of rural agricultural productivity, Kilifi Moringa Estates drives transformative rural outcomes by enabling women to be the primary role in the rural economy by freeing them from food insecurity, giving them economic dependence and above all enabling women to drive higher-priority development agendas.
The four other finalists to receive significant funding were: Mestic from the Netherlands ($200,000) – which converts cow manure waste into biotextiles, bioplastics and biopaper; Spain’s BraiBook ($100,000) – creator of the first Braille eReader;The Picha Project from Malaysia ($50,000), which supports marginalised communities through a sustainable food catering and delivery business; and change:WATER Labs from the USA, ($50,000) – which has developed low-cost, waterless toilets for non-sewered households and communities around the world.
Today, through the Chivas Venture, Chivas champions like-minded entrepreneurs who want to succeed while changing the world for the better; social enterprises are invited to apply for the chance to win a share of $1million in funding and resources as entries for the Chivas Venture 2019 open in September 2018