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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Ben & Jerry’s and Ashoka Vet European Social Entrepreneurs with Join Our Core Competition

Ben & Jerry’s and Ashoka last week launched their second Join Our Core competition to find the most innovative young social entrepreneurs in Europe.

The top 18 applicants will be invited to pitch their ideas and businesses on camera before an expert panel of business and sustainability experts in London, including Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield and several Ashoka executives. The first 100 people to submit will receive a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the announcement says.

Five winners will be selected, each receiving a €10,000 cash prize, six months of mentoring from Ashoka and a trip to Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont. The victors will also have a Ben & Jerry’s flavor named after them.

“When Ben and I set-up the company in 1978, we believed giving back to the community was as important as making great tasting ice-cream,” said Greenfield. “We certainly found those same values in last year’s winners and can’t wait to see and hear new ideas from the talented bunch we will meet this year.”

Last year’s winner was an Irish non-profit called Archipelago, which represents the largest community of young entrepreneurs in Ireland. This year, the organization says it will deliver enterprise classes to more than 5,000 young people and help create more than 800 start-ups with 500 employees.

“Join Our Core was one of our company highlights to date — getting to pitch our business model to Jerry and the team in London was thrilling; to win it was even better,” John Egan, CEO of Archipelago, said in a recent interview.

To coincide with the competition’s launch and celebrate last year’s winners, Ben & Jerry’s is releasing a new flavor called “Clever Cookies” that will feature the logos of last year’s winners on the front of each tub.

Join Our Core 2013 runs from March 4 through May 3 and is accepting applicants from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Switzerland. All applicants must be between the age of 18 and 34.

Last year Ben & Jerry’s became the first wholly-owned subsidiary to gain B Corp certification. The growing B Corporation movement is a network of companies that meet what Inc. magazine has called “the highest standard for socially responsible businesses.”


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