In September 2016 globally acclaimed Whiskey Brand Chivas launched the 3rd year of The Venture – A USD 1Million competition supporting the most promising aspiring social entrepreneurs in Kenya who want to succeed while making a positive impact on the lives of others.
The launch of Chivas – The Venture follows a global report that revealed 95 per cent of young professionals are looking for businesses to take more responsibility in solving global problems. Since Chivas – The Venture first launched in 2014, over 3,500 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual USD 1 million fund. Kenya’s very own WEFARM, a farming information platform came 2nd at last year’s finals, and secured USD 200,000 for their social enterprise.
Chivas Regal has completed the selection of the judges who will oversee the Kenyan chapter of the global competition dubbed The Venture. The Venture is Chivas’ global search to find and support the next generation of start-ups that want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others.
The panel of judges, as selected by Chivas Regal and partnering agencies, will evaluate the applications submitted by aspiring social entrepreneurs and select the deserving social entrepreneurs to then proceed to the finals of the competition to be held in New York.
“Diversity was the key consideration when selecting the judges for the Venture. We want to ensure that different entrepreneurial backgrounds are represented during the competition to make it easier for the judges to connect and identify with the wide-ranging ideas presented by the contestants,” Pernod Ricard Kenya Managing Director, Dennis Ochanine.
“The entrepreneurs will have to prove to the judges that their initiative will be the most sustainable and will hold the most significant social impact on the societies. These judges are well recognized in their fields and will hold the key success for the budding entrepreneurs,” added Chivas Brand Manager, Dorcas Njoroge.
The panel consists of seven judges who are well-known investors, venture capitalists and respected members of the social entrepreneurial space in Kenya.
The judges include; Aaron Fu, a managing partner at NEST a Venture capital firm with the head office in Hong Kong; Sarah Kabira, an engineer and entrepreneur who has worked for big telecommunications companies such as Safaricom and Vodacom UK; Esther Ndeti who runs ANDE which is a global network of organizations that support entrepreneurship in emerging markets; Mikul Shah; an entrepreneur with over 10 years’ experience, founder and Managing Director of Eat Out Kenya, Yummy Magazine and the Nairobi Restaurant Week; Roy Wachira, a serial entrepreneur who runs among other companies the Foundry Africa; Ivan Mbowa, CEO and Co-Founder of Umati Capital, with vast experience in investment banking and finally Jessica Colaco, a TED fellow and co-founder of Brave Venture Labs-East Africa’s first Network Science lab based in Nairobi and San Francisco.
The Venture seeks to provide support to the next generation of start-ups whose aim is to succeed while positively impacting on the lives of others.
Since the Venture Launch in 2014 over 3,500 entrepreneurs have applied to take part in this competition whose grand prize is set at 1 million dollars for the final winner. This year, Kenya will be part of the 32 countries across six continents who will be participating and only the most promising participants from each of the countries will proceed to New York for the final event in July 2017.
The Venture application closed on November 30th and is currently under-review with the selected judges. The Kenyan winner will be announced January 12th, 2017.