The search for the most deserving social enterprise in the nation has come to an end.
The Venture, an initiative set up by Premium Scotch Whiskey brand Chivas Regal, to scout for and reward innovative social entrepreneurs, have announced the UK winner from a shortlist of 5 finalists.
The five social entrepreneurs going head to head in The Venture final were:
(clockwise from top left) Sinead Mac Manus, Fluency; Bruce Gunn & team, DNDP; Adam & Daniel Pike, SuperCarers; Dr Andres Fonseca, Virtually Free; Two Fingers Brewing team
The service: An online network that connects elderly people and their families with vetted, reliable and compassionate carers who can directly offer a service that’s affordable, flexible and personal.
Social impact: “Demand is growing due to the UK's ageing population and local authorities cannot cope meaning more vulnerable people are not getting the care they need. By making care more accessible, serving a wider range of needs (not just critical) care outcomes can be improved and pressure on services like the NHS reduced.”
Adam Pike, Co-founder
The service: The only beer brand to give away all profits from the sale of its Aurelio beer to Prostate Cancer UK.
Social impact: “We are making joining the fight against the most common male cancer as easy and enjoyable as reaching for the bottle opener. We’re fighting prostate cancer, one beer at a time.”
Two Fingers Brewing team
DNDP CIC (Delivered Next Day Personally)
The service: Enabling disabled people to work to a flexible business model that puts their care and health to the forefront, with the view to ultimately own their own social franchise.
Social impact: “Disabled people face a complex range of barriers, behaviours and determinants which contribute to poverty and inequalities. The freedom to work flexibly… actively encourages disabled people to take their destiny into their own hands. This also contributes to the employees feeling of inclusion, health and wellbeing.”
Bruce Gunn, Managing Director
The service: Making digital skills available to the young jobseeker, regardless of their background or their location.
Social impact: “Our vision is to build a global social business that uses technology to give access to decent work opportunities and changes the lives of people in need, whether they live in Scotland or Sudan.”
Sinead Mac Manus, CEO
The service: Therapeutic multi-platform games designed by consultant psychiatrists to help prevent and treat mental health problems.
Social impact: "Virtually Free aims to improve the world’s mental health and make therapy more accessible, affordable and engaging empowering people with the tools to manage their conditions themselves.”
Dr Andres Fonseca, Co-Founder
The event, held in Google’s London Offices in St Giles, was unusual in that the winner was not decided by a public vote or a judging panel. Instead, all five finalists were invited to pitch their business plan to each another. They then had to decide among themselves who was the most deserving of the £10,000 prize and access to specialist business mentorship. The winner also goes through to the global final in Silicon Valley, where they stand to win a share of $1 million.
After much deliberation, the business concept and potential scalability of Two Fingers Brewing Co. was deemed the most impressive, not least because the craft beer brand donates 100% of its profits to Prostrate Cancer UK. Accepting the award, Matt Sadler, co-founder of Two Fingers Brewery Co. admitted: “It was so close and all the finalists could easily have won and would have deserved to have done so. To have the backing of such inspirational people is incredible. So we now want to do them, and the UK, proud at the global final."
Accepting the award, Matt Sadler, co-founder of Two Fingers Brewery Co. admitted: “It was so close and all the finalists could easily have won and would have deserved to have done so. To have the backing of such inspirational people is incredible. So we now want to do them, and the UK, proud at the global final."
Rajeeb Dey, CEO of Enternships and co-founder of StartUp Britain, who announced the winner, said: "What makes The Venture unique is the global platform it provides to aspiring social entrepreneurs... 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”
The global final is set to take place in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, in July, where Two Fingers Brewing Co. will pitch for a portion of the $1 million in funding to further their vision to “fight prostate cancer, one beer at a time”.
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