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Chivas is Set to Have it’s $1 Million Global Startup Competition in Nairobi


The first Kenyan edition of Chivas, founded by Chivas Regal is a Venture searching to find and support the next generation of social enterprise start-ups. During the launch of The Venture in Nairobi, Chivas Regal hosted local aspiring social entrepreneurs for a chivalrous whisky dinner pairing at the Lord Erroll, Runda on the evening of 13th October of 2016.

With over $1 million in funding and resources, The Venture is Chivas’ global search to find and support the next generation of start-ups that want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. Chivas’ The Venture inspires social entrepreneurs and those seeking positive change from around the world to pursue their ambitions and realize their potential.

Speaking on the night, Denis Ochanine, MD Pernod Ricard Kenya and Regional Director for East Africa explained “With a combination of entrepreneurial thinking and generosity at its heart, Chivas The Venture is inspired by the founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who realised early on that success is much richer when we share it with others”.

Since Chivas The Venture first launched (2014) over 3,500 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. Indeed, Kenya’s very own WEFARM, a farming information platform came 2nd at last year’s finals, securing $200,000 for their social enterprise. This year, Kenya together with 32 countries across 6 continents are taking part; only the most promising from each country will be selected as a global finalist for the chance to take part in an Accelerator Week programme and travel to the New York, USA for Chivas The Venture final event in July 2017.

With an emphasis on all things social enterprise, the launch evening hosted two keynote speakers, Ivan Mbowa, Co-founder and CEO of Umati Capital, a digital financial services start –up. And Jessica Francisca Colaco, a TED fellow and co-founder of Brave Venture Labs who remarked that The Venture’s launch in Kenya was coming at an opportune time where:

“We are seeing a trend of more social enterprise start-ups emerging in Kenya because they bring the self-sufficiency of for-profit businesses and the incentives of market forces to bear on global social problems”.


The launch of Chivas The Venture comes off the back of a global report that revealed 95% of young professionals are looking for businesses to take more responsibility in solving global problems. Moreover, a Chivas study specially commissioned highlights a number of trends. It shows that Millennials and Gen Z are hungry, motivated and inspired to positively impact the world. Second, young people believe that business also has a social responsibility not just government. As the world continues to become increasingly networked and collaborative, we have an opportunity to shape it – building cross-sector solutions to our most pressing social and environmental challenges.” Over two-thirds of people would like to work for a business that has a social conscience.”