Social entrepreneur network Archipelago scoops Ben & Jerry’s award

19 Mar 2013

Archipelago's CEO John Egan

For the first time an Irish company called Archipelago is to appear on tubs of Ben & Jerry’s new ice cream Clever Cookies after being one of four companies to win the Join Our Core competition aimed at finding the world’s best social entrepreneurs.

Archipelago, alongside four other socially conscious start-ups from around Europe, won mentoring for their business from Ashoka, a €10,000 cash prize, and the right to appear on the new ice cream tubs.

From nearly 200 entrants, 15 were handpicked by an expert panel of judges from the world of sustainable business, which included Ben & Jerry’s co-founder, Jerry Greenfield. The five winners were crowned after completing a week-long trip to Uganda in the competition’s final leg in Africa.

“Join Our Core was one of our company highlights to date, getting to pitch our business model to Jerry and the team in London was thrilling; to win it was even better,” said Archipelago’s John Egan, who hails from Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Archipelago represents the largest community of young entrepreneurs in Ireland and this year will deliver enterprise classes to more than 5,000 young people and help create more than 800 start-ups with 500 employees.  

The company organises the Archie Talks series of seminars about the role of young entrepreneurs in recessionary Ireland and the protagonists of a youth movement who are creating sophisticated consumer-led businesses in bedrooms, dorms, kitchens, lofts and open offices.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years