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Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky Launches The Venture: What Good Could You Do With $1m?

21/10/2014 15:03 BST | Updated 11/11/2014 15:59 GMT

If you have a brilliant start-up idea or an existing business venture, you could win a share of $1m, business advice and the chance to make a real difference. Join us at theventure.com.

Social entrepreneurship is on the rise, according to a new study – and it’s not only changing the face of business, it’s changing the world for the better.

For the social entrepreneur, financial profit is not the end goal but rather a vehicle for driving positive social change – whether in local communities or on a global level.

To help inspire this new generation of altruisitic entrepreneurs, Chivas Regal Scotch whisky, which commissioned the research, is launching an exciting global competition, The Venture.

Founded by entrepreneurs, James and John Chivas - who had a commitment to 'doing well by doing good' - social enterprise is at the heart of Chivas. And now Chivas is searching for the social entrepreneurs of the future.

The Venture is scouting for exceptional start-ups and start-up ideas that use business innovatively to transform local communities – or even solve global challenges.

Up to 20 of the most exciting new social entrepreneurs from different countries, including 1 UK finalist, will be invited to a week-long, entrepreneurs’ training-camp in Silicon Valley, California – home to some of the world’s leading start-ups.

These finalists will have the opportunity to meet global tech companies, be mentored by experts, and pitch for a portion of the $1 million in funding to take their business to the next level and receive global coverage.

The winner of the UK final will also receive £10,000 and access to specialist business advice ranging from marketing to law.

Rajeeb Dey, CEO of Enternships and co-founder of StartUp Britain is one of the UK panel of experts working closely with Chivas to help shortlist entrants for the UK final.

He says: "What makes The Venture unique is the global platform it provides to aspiring social entrepreneurs; funding is always something you seek when first starting.

"However it is not just the $1m on offer here but the opportunity to receive world-class mentoring, support and publicity to kick-start your idea - everything a nascent entrepreneur needs."

The rise of the social entrepreneur

According to Social Enterprise UK, there are approximately 70,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £18.5 billion to the UK economy and employing almost a million people - and this number is set to rise.

Findings from a global independent report, commissioned by Chivas - draws together the responses of more than 2,000 young professionals and dozens of business leaders, social entrepreneurs and academics in Mexico, Brazil, China, the UK, USA, and South Africa - concluding that social entrepreneurship is on the verge of becoming mainstream practice.

“A number of global trends are converging to accelerate the pace of change in our communities and our lives," says report author, Soushiant Zanganehpour, at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford.

"One response to this complexity is the rise of social entrepreneurship; the idea that economic incentives and positive social change can – and should – go hand in hand.

"Over the past two decades in particular, the phenomenon has gained significant traction, and in some cases is on the verge of mainstreaming into general business.”

Of those surveyed, as many as two thirds (66%) said they would be willing to accept up to 50% less revenue if they could optimize the social good created by their venture.

Make your start-up dream a reality

If you have a brilliant start-up idea or existing business venture, even if it’s still at the daydream stage, Chivas would like to hear about it. You could win a share of $1m and considerable business advice to turn your dreams into a reality and make a real difference. Join us at theventure.com to find out more.

Please read the Terms & Conditions eligibility requirements prior to application.

Need inspiration? BAFTA award winning Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of 12 Years A Slave, has created a film with Chivas, to spur budding social entrepreneurs into action.

He says of The Venture: “I think it’s a great idea to support entrepreneurs who are making a very conscious commitment to try to combine the ideas of financial success with improving the lives of other people.

"These two things really don’t have to be mutually exclusive. What excites me is that every day of the week, groups of people from across the world are making it happen and in the process are making a real difference to their communities.”

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