Share on Share on Google+ Posted on: 17/03/2017

March 17th, 2017: Talking at a social enterprise event in London last night hosted by leading Scotch whisky Chivas Regal, the Innocent co-founder called for entrepreneurs across the world to be resilient during the political and economic chaos.



March 17th, 2017: Talking at a social enterprise event in London last night hosted by leading Scotch whisky Chivas Regal, the Innocent co-founder called for entrepreneurs across the world to be resilient during the political and economic chaos.

During the series of talks that took place on the day royal assent was given to the Article 50 Bill in the UK, Reed announced to the audience – which included 30 of the most exciting startups from across the world – that Brexit is absolutely not going to stop entrepreneurs.

“We’re going to need you entrepreneurs more now than ever before”, he said. “Politicians don’t start businesses. It’s only entrepreneurs that ever start businesses, creating jobs, wealth and opportunities.”

The event, entitled ‘Make Society Great Again’, took place at Impact Hub Westminster as part of the Chivas Venture – a global $1m search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed while creating a better future for society.

Karen Lynch, CEO of Belu Water, who spoke alongside Reed, commented: 

“Social entrepreneurs exist because there are problems in the world. This is our opportunity; we can make a difference through business. Within the chaos, we are the ones who can move faster, innovate and break the rules.”

All three speakers agreed that the election of President Trump has shown that there are “no rules anymore”, and that the current climate should be seen by entrepreneurs as an opportunity.

Indeed Kresse Wesling MBE, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, said the results of the US Presidential elections left her feeling “virtually unstoppable – like a freight train” on her mission for social change.

Also in attendance at the event were the 30 startups who have been chosen to compete for a share of the Chivas Venture’s $1m fund. The finalists have travelled to the UK to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created by Chivas in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship embedded within the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

During an intensive five days of learning, the finalists have the opportunity to develop leadership skills, take part in practical workshops and be inspired by global experts on critical topics that affect social startups – before travelling to Los Angeles in July to compete for a share of $1 million to make their dream of creating a better future for the world a reality.

Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, who compèred the event, added: 

In the current uncertain political and economic climate, social entrepreneurs have an incredibly important role to play in securing a better future for our society. What this evening’s discussions highlighted is that in today’s world, entrepreneurs need to be brave to disrupt.”

Now in its third year, the Chivas Venture has to date received almost 6,000 applications across six continents from startups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place. The vision of the future as imagined by this year’s finalists is a place where protein bars are made from crickets and shoes made from garbage; where walls of moss clean city air and human waste is turned into affordable cooking fuel.

From Monday 1st May to Sunday 4th June, the public will be able to show their support for their favourite finalist through a live vote. Over the course of five weeks, the public’s vote will determine how the first $250,000 in funding is split among the finalists. The winner(s) of the remaining $750,000 in funding will be decided on Thursday 13th July 2017 at the Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles, after a high-stakes pitch in front of the judges and a live audience.

To learn more about each of the Chivas Venture finalists, visit their pages at


Chivas Venture Finalists – Interactive Illustration



Event Speakers


  • Richard Reed: Co-founder of innocent and Jam Jar Investments.
  • Karen Lynch: CEO of Belu, the UK's most ethical water brand.
  • Kresse Wesling MBE: Environmental entrepreneur and co-founder of Elvis & Kresse.


Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact:

Louisa Humm– Chivas Regal –

Alex Andrew – Pangolin –


The Chivas Venture

The Chivas Venture is a global search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed while creating a better future for society. Since the Chivas Venture first launched in 2014, over 6,000 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. This year, over 30 countries across 6 continents are taking part in the Chivas Venture.


Last year in New York, global judge Eva Longoria and host Trevor Noah announced the winners of the $1m fund. Social startup Conceptos Plasticos from Colombia was awarded the largest share of the fund, receiving $300,000.


About Chivas Regal                                                                                                                          

Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Chivas Regal range includes: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas 18, Chivas 25, ultra-prestige blend and pinnacle of the range Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend. Launched in October 2016, Chivas Regal Ultis is the first blended malt Scotch whisky from the House of Chivas and represents the true essence of Chivas Regal.


About the Skoll Centre & Saïd Business School

Embedded within the world-renowned Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, the Skoll Centre is dedicated to accelerating the impact of entrepreneurial activity that aims to transform unjust or unsatisfactory systems and practices. The Skoll Centre was launched in 2003 at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford to promote the advancement of social entrepreneurship worldwide. The first Skoll Skollars were welcomed in the fall of 2004, and the first Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship (an annual meeting of nearly 1,000 distinguished delegates from the social, finance, private and public sectors) quickly followed that same year.


The Saïd Business School is a world-class business school community, embedded within a world-class university, tackling world-scale problems. As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, The University of Oxford is a unique and historic institution. The University is formed of 38 colleges, some dating back to the 1200s. Each of these colleges attracts talented students from around the world.


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