Business News

Irish start-up Food Cloud crowned as Ireland’s top social entrepreneur

By Business & Finance
20 November 2014

Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien, founders of Food Cloud, have been crowned Ireland’s top young social entrepreneurs at this year’s Join Our Core competition.

Join Our Core is Ben & Jerry’s and Ashoka’s annual, global competition to celebrate young people who are creating new models for sustainable business to help make a difference in communities. Winners Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien’s business is a super innovative virtual foodbank that connects businesses that have too much food with charities that have too little.

This year’s finale, held across London, Singapore and Tokyo, saw the finalists from 11 countries (UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Singapore and Japan) go head to head, with one young entrepreneur from each region taking the title.

Ward and O’Brien have scooped €10,000 investment, invaluable mentoring from Ashoka, and will see their business logo featured on an exclusive Ben & Jerry’s tub in 2015. They will also go on a trip to Ben & Jerry’s birthplace in Vermont where they will gain additional training and hear from US-based entrepreneurs and socially responsible business leaders.

Aoibheann O’Brien from Food Cloud said: “To be part of the Join Our Core final is amazing. Some of the previous finalists were incredibily inspirational to us and helped us kickstart our own business in Ireland. To join that lineup is great. Above the investment and recognition, it’s the Ashoka mentoring part of the winner’s prize that will really help us achieve our goals. ”

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s said: “I was bowled over by the quality of finalists at our Join Our Core European grand final this year. Food Cloud had an impressive business model and their passion and drive really shone through. Join Our Core is all about finding the next big thing in sustainable business, people driving real change in their communities. We are fortunate to be able to offer our winners invaluable business mentoring and connection to a global network of changemakers thanks to our partner, Ashoka. “