In 2014, Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, launched The Venture, a global competition to find and support promising entrepreneurs from around the world who want to Win the Right Way.
Currently in its third successful year, Chivas Regal South Africa can now announce the top 10 finalists of its unique elevator pitch series, hosted by the glamorous Top Billing presenter, Lorna Maseko. The winner will walk away with R350 000 and the chance of a lifetime to represent South Africa in the international version of the Venture 3, taking place in the US.
The competing entrepreneurs are a business-savvy group who want to succeed while making a positive impact on the lives of others. They are:
Describing her business as an “African Etsy”, Caley created a simple digital platform where high-revenue artisans can partner with artisans in rural communities and sell their authentic work internationally. The aim of the partnership is to empower communities, giving them the opportunity to keep 60% of the profits.
2Menzi Mahlobo – Ocean in Motion
Once funded, the sustainable Ocean in Motion will offer systems that simulate ocean conditions anywhere, thus seafood can be bred and sourced inland. Through this solution, Menzi’s business will tackle food security, unemployment and rising food costs.
3Mathieu Coquillon – Mama Money
Designed for immigrants from other African countries working in South Africa, the app’s catch phrase is “Send More Money Home”, and allows the users to send money back home for food, education, medicine and other basic needs at greatly reduced rates.
4Lara Mare van Niekerk – Boma Brands cc trading as Rush Bar
Through Boma Brands cc, Rush Bars are marketed to athletes and those who want to consume “natural” products more often. Striving to uplift South Africa’s communities, Rush Bar sources its supplies locally and teaches impoverished communities to grow fruit trees that could form part of Rush Bar’s value chain.
5Luvuyo Rani – Silulo Ulutho Technologies
Luvuyo’s business is about making communication and teaching technology accessible in emerging and rural communities throughout the Eastern and Western Cape, as well as providing employment opportunities.
6James Their – I-drop Water
This environmentally friendly water purification system gives vulnerable communities access to safe, affordable water. With pilots already in three countries, the system can purify almost all harmful bacteria, and allows retailers to earn income for every unit operated from their outlets.
7Risna Opperman – ROSES FOR U
Through ROSES FOR U, Risna will incubate a number of small farms in the Free State that will distil highly sought-after rose essential oil. Hopefully, the farms will go on to supply a number of industries throughout South Africa and maybe even the world.
8Sizwe Nzima – Iyeza Health
Already making a difference, Iyeza Health is a bicycle-based courier company that delivers essential medications and HIV-testing kits to residents – many of them constrained by age, disability, poverty or time – of Cape Town’s less fortunate areas.
Related: How to Crack Social Entrepreneurship
9Matt Wainwright – Standard Microgrid
Standard Microgrid is a solar-powered energy system that distributes energy without access to electricity. Each utility can service 150 homes, and users only have to pay a flat fee for a month’s usage, enabling them to use the funds for further development.
10Ross Kramm – Mama Mimi’s
Ross is the founder of Mama Mimi’s, a bakery franchise that uplifts small rural communities by baking and supplying bread directly where it is consumed. This model creates entrepreneurs who run the micro bakeries, lowers the price of bread as delivery costs are removed, and creates employment.
These aspiring social entrepreneurs have come far on their personal journeys, however their “ventures” have only just begun. On 26 January 2017 at 18:30, you can catch up on their elevator pitches and see which of the five from top 10 were chosen to present their business plans to an esteemed panel of judges and celebrities, including former CEO of multi-billion rand diversified African investment holding company Shanduka and current Executive Chairperson of Sigma Capital Phuti Mahanyele; IT influencer best known as the founder of fintech company Thumbzup Innovation Stafford Masie; and renowned entrepreneur and content architect Kojo Baffoe.
It is these prominent experts who will decide South Africa’s The Venture 2017 winner, investing R350 000 in their idea and allowing him or her to represent the nation at The Venture Year 3 final in the USA. The winner will be announced on Mzansi Magic.
Shelley Reeves, Marketing Manager Scotch Whiskies at Chivas Regal, asserts that the essence of Chivas Regal’s global campaign Win the Right Way aligns the values of Chivas Regal with the human value of aspiring to use enterprise as a force for good through social entrepreneurship. This innovative form of business, she believes, creates renewed focus on key aspects of social development, such as long-term sustainability and efficiency, by blending traditional business objectives with the South African philosophy of Ubuntu.
“Over the last two years, we have shown our belief in and commitment to this philosophy by awarding USD2 million to start-ups globally that ‘do well by doing good’, because we believe purpose and profit can coexist,” she says.
Watch who makes it to the USA in the televised final on 26 January at 18:30 on Mzansi Magic.