Leading blended Scotch whisky maker Chivas has announced that due to the current global COVID-19 outbreak, this year’s Chivas Venture $1 million fund will be distributed evenly amongst the 26 global finalists, including England and Wales’ WASE, with immediate effect.
Now in its sixth year, the Chivas Venture gives away $1m in no-strings funding to startups who blend profit with purpose to have a positive impact on the world. This year’s competition has seen 26 social enterprises selected from 26 countries, across five continents, with WASE winning the local final in England and Wales.
WASE – who was due to pitch for a share of the fund at a Global Final in June – will now receive $40,000 in funding, which can be put towards creating positive change at a testing time for people across the globe.
Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard comments:
It is with great sadness that we have decided to cut short this year’s Chivas Venture competition due to the impact COVID-19 is having across the world. Now more than ever, our world needs the passion and dedication of those who want to bring about positive change.
That’s why we have decided that each of our finalists should be provided with secure funding now, so they can continue their important work and continue to positively impact their communities in spite of these volatile conditions, which will be particularly challenging for fledgling businesses and the communities they serve.
This year’s finalists have found unique and creative ways to tackle a wide range of social, environmental and economic challenges, many of which have been exacerbated by the global pandemic, especially in at risk or isolated communities. WASE develops decentralised wastewater treatment systems that embrace a circular economy to recover energy, nutrients and water in wastewater – providing sanitation and energy in under-served communities.
To date, the Chivas Venture has given away $5 million in no-strings funding to social startups who have positively impacted over 2 million lives across 50 countries; driving major change, including providing 34 million litres of safe drinking water to communities, recycling 1,300 tonnes of waste, helping over 2,500 farmers’ families out of poverty and funding over 75,000 days of education for women and girls.