Frequently asked questions
You could say that this competition is a bit of a treasure hunt for us! We’re trying to find some bright sparks in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK who are keen to build and develop their cool new sustainable business! (It’s something close to our hearts, so why not help others on the same wavelength!)
You need to write up a draft crowdfunding pitch, for which we’ve created you a guide and then fill out our application form (in English please)
We’re keeping small-print to a minimum (it’s always so darn hard to read!) so everything is up on our criteria
Whaaat? No, no, no! Your idea might be worth a million bucks, but all entries are free…!
This is a new offer – to our knowledge the first time ever a company has given training by its staff, top-up funding and publicity to help crowdfunding campaigns – and so we wanted to test it in the places where we think it has the best chance of success. That’s not to say other countries don’t have a thriving crowdfunding ecosystem! It’s safe to say that key pillars of our support to social entrepreneurs are going to be the expertise we can get them access to at the Scoop Camp and our ability to use the publicity channels we have, so we’ve focused the competition on the countries where we can provide the most of that. Since we are focusing our resources on training up ventures to crowdfund rather than spreading the word about the competition, we wanted to focus on countries where Join Our Core has really taken hold and applications were coming in thick and fast.
We believe young people now are the leaders of the future (especially when it comes to sustainable business!), so we want young people to dive right in and help make a difference…and it’s no secret that jobs aren’t really easy to come by right now for youngsters, so this is our way of lending a helping hand. We also know that our fan-base is roughly in this age bracket. Since promotion of your crowdfunding campaign to this audience is a crucial part of the offer, this age restriction ensures that your venture will have a stronger appeal and help our fans relate to you more.
Ashoka and Ben & Jerry’s will be sifting through all your entries from the Ben & Jerry’s European HQ… and that’s based in the UK so I'm afraid we can only accept English entries...
It’s not just down to us, oh no - Ben & Jerry’s is working with social enterprise experts Ashoka who will help us check out the entries and pick five finalists per country who will attend our Scoop Camp. Later on we’ll then crack open the ice cream and get our expert panel of judges to sit down and hand-pick the best one or two Winners from each country to award the match funding, publicity and be the lucky people who will be sent to Vermont, USA as part of the competition prize! Ashoka will be joined by experts from the world of crowdfunding and social enterprise, to create an esteemed panel to make a decision on our winners!
Ashoka lives for all things social entrepreneur-ish… & they love to invest in individuals with innovative and practical ideas for solving the world's biggest social problems! Since ’81 they’ve provided over 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs (known as Ashoka Fellows) with support & access to a Global network of peers over 80 countries. It’s pretty cool…
What’s super about Ashoka Fellows is that they inspire others to adopt and spread their innovations, showing others that that they can be powerful Changemakers & make a positive difference in their communities too!
Well, let me tell you…the winners scoop themselves a three month tailored mentoring pgroamme from Unilever to look at any challenges facing you in your business, and get super super advice to help your business grow and develop. They are experts in helping businesses scale, so brace yourself for the big-guns. As our parent company, Unilever have businesses as far and wide as soap to marmite so we hope that it sparks all sorts of collaborations.
We feel that 20% of the funding target, up to a value of €10,000, will be a great boost to pretty much any socially minded start up business. Crowdfunding campaigns succeed when groups come together to support a great idea, and we wanted to play our role in this to hoof-start the campaign for our winners! We hope that the training and publicity that we offer is worth way more to your venture than a cash prize because we want it to help you build a fans following that will see your venture grow and grow!
You keen beans (that’s the first 100 people to enter by 2nd March 2015) will scoop themselves some ice cream goodies!
Get your 2015 diary out!
February 9th – Entries for the competition open
March 2nd – The early bird deadline for the first 100 applicants to scoop an ice cream goodie, so get your noodle in gear!
March 16th – The final deadline for submitting competition entries is midnight…tick tock! Any entries received after that won’t be included I’m afraid.
March 31st – our 25 Finalists are announced
April 6th-17th – Scoop Camp: where the fantabulous Finalists will have a two-day training session on crowdfunding (London April 14th,16th,17th, Paris April 14th -15th, Stockholm April 7th-8th, Hamburg April 9th-10th, Rotterdam/Amsterdam April 16th-17th)
April 29th – our Winners are announced – these are the lucky ones we’ll be able to award the top-up funding to and publicise to our Ben & Jerry’s fans
May 18th – ideal date for your crowdfunding campaign to go live
May 21st – we’ll throw in our 20% and start publicising your venture to our fans (we want to allow you some time to get some backers from your personal and project’s network, without a bit of early momentum our supporters might not trust you – despite our protestations!)
June 18th – the earliest your campaign can end
There are many types of crowdfunding but here are a couple of the key types.
all-or-nothing vs keep-it-all – definitions
This sounds like gambling! It’s certainly true that you have to take a leap of faith to do “all-or-nothing” crowdfunding – this is crowdfunding where you only get the money if you hit the target. Keep-it-all is pretty self-explanatory (but here goes anyway!); you hold on to all the funds you raise, regardless of whether you hit your target.
all-or-nothing vs keep-it-all – which does Join Our Core allow?
We strongly encourage you to do “all-or-nothing” crowdfunding. The up-sides are that for backers the target is a motivating factor (they know nothing will happen unless you reach it) and it’s very clear what will be delivered. For the crowdfunder you also get better treatment as platforms take a lower fee on what is raised.
rewards vs equity – definitions
Rewards: Individuals donate towards a specific project with the expectation of receiving a tangible (but non–financial) reward or product at a later date in exchange for their contribution. Equity: sale of a stake in a business to a number of investors in return for investment, predominantly used by early–stage firms.
rewards vs equity – which does Join Our Core allow?
We’re happy with both. We hope that your idea is amazing enough to be able to run a rewards campaign so that you don’t have give any percentage of your organisation away. But we know that if you are a little further down the line, you might want to raise larger amounts and we’d be happy to support equity campaigns too. Especially because in 1984, we convinced local financiers to let people invest in our first factory for as little as $120 so that 1,800 Vermont residents invested $750,000 to share in the prosperity of our growing business. This was crowdfunding – just without the fancy technology!
We are trying out a Join Our Core programme that mobilises Ben & Jerry’s strengths to help values-led businesses get off the ground. We know that crowdfunders want help to plan marketing campaign and a community of interested potential backers. We think we can provide both of these.
We’re going to see how our 2015 competition goes, but do check back for future updates!
We want to maximize the amount of publicity that we can offer to our winners. We do understand that projects and the publicity they can get may put their own demands on the start and end dates of the campaigns. But unfortunately, we are only able to support crowdfunding campaigns that will start between 10th May and 21st May then end between 16th and 30th June.
Yes it’s a major part of our offer so I’m afraid you will have to commit to you or a colleague attending otherwise we won’t consider your application... sorry!
We’re doing some more detailed thinking about this and will have something for you in time for the Scoop Camps.
Fear not! That’s exactly why we’ve put together our Join Our Core Crowdfunding Pitch Advice. Just register for the competition and you’ll be able to download this.
We certainly aren’t experts at this crowdfunding lark, but we do have lots of marketing expertise, and have a community who can listen to your pitch, both of which are very important to running a crowdfunding campaign – and we know we can help with those! But we do know a bit about crowdfunding… In 1984, we convinced local financiers to let people invest in our first factory for $120 so that 1,800 Vermont residents could share in the prosperity of our growing business. This was crowdfunding – just without the fancy technology!
Yes. The list of recommended platforms in the Join Our Core Crowdfunding Pitch Advice is only there to guide you. You are free to go on any platform. We’ll just need to be convinced that it is a decent platform in order to send our fans to it – but most platforms are!
Have you not heard? We’re so much more than an ice cream company! When Ben & Jerry first started the business (back in ’78) it was all about creating a new business model, where social, economic and environmental values would all be equal…(better for everyone that way!).
37 years on, these lovely core values are still guiding the business. We’ve always felt businesses and organisations have a responsibility to give something back to the communities in which they operate.