Chivas the Venture has announced in a press conference that it is opening the door to applications from Nigerian social entrepreneurs for its global startup competition for the second year running. The competition is for startups that “use business innovatively to transform communities and solve global challenges.”
Applicants from Nigeria (and every other participating country) will compete to get into the national finals. The winning startups will have the chance to pitch their businesses to “panel of business experts who will offer advice and decide which finalist has the most promise to continue to the global finals.”
Speaking to the press, Audu Maikori, founder of Chocolate City and a Chivas brand ambassador, said that this year, contestants will come from 32 countries across six continents. He explained that the competition is for for-profit startups that “create both financial value and positive impact” in the society. The Venture will not accept applications from NGOs or non-profit organizations. The winner from Nigeria will have a chance to compete on the global stage and attend The Ventures acceleration week programme coming in March 2017 in the UK where, alongside winners from other countries, he/she will be mentored by “global business leaders, industry experts, and successful social entrepreneurs.”
He added that “from May 2017, the public will have the chance to decide who receives funding.” About $250,000 of the $1 million will be distributed to the finalists through public voting on TheVenture.com. In July 2017, the finalists will attend The Venture’s final pitch in front of a live audience and a panel comprising of social entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders.
In Nigeria, The Venture is partnering with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University which is in charge of the selection process.
Chivas Regal launched The Venture in 2014 and has since invested $2 million dollars in social impact-driven startups. It has over 200,000 beneficiaries in over 50 countries. 73% of the startups that have applied say The Venture gave their businesses “valuable publicity”, the finalists of the programme have seen a collective 155% growth in their revenues. Last year, Angel Adelaja won the competition with her startup Fresh Direct, which aims to make agriculture cheaper and more accessible through hydroponic agriculture. This year, Oscar Mendez, a Colombian, won it with his Conceptos Plásticos startup.
To apply for the competition, go to The Venture’s website. Application entries open on October 12, 2016 and closes November 16, 2016. Terms and conditions can also be found on the website and participants must be above 25 years old and business entries cannot be related to alcohol or cigarettes.