"Given Brexit and Trump, we now need entrepreneurs more than ever before" - Richard Reed.
Talking at a social enterprise event in London hosted by Chivas Regal, the innocent drinks co-founder called for entrepreneurs across the world to be resilient during today's political and economic chaos.
On the day that royal assent was given for the Article 50 bill in the UK, Richard Reed (pictured) told the audience that Brexit is not going to stop entrepreneurs. "We’re going to need you entrepreneurs more now than ever before," he said. "Politicians don’t start businesses. It’s only entrepreneurs that ever start businesses, creating jobs, wealth and opportunities."
Making society great
The event, Make Society Great Again, took place at Impact Hub Westminster as part of the Chivas Venture - a global $1m search to find and support the next generation of start-ups that want to succeed while creating a better future for society.
Karen Lynch, ceo of Belu Water, said: "Social entrepreneurs exist because there are problems in the world. This is our opportunity; we can make a difference through business. Within the chaos, we are the ones who can move faster, innovate and break the rules."
The speakers agreed that the current climate should be seen by entrepreneurs as an opportunity. Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, said the results of the US presidential elections left her feeling "virtually unstoppable - like a freight train" on her mission for social change.
Social enterprise start-ups
Also at the event were the 30 start-ups who have been chosen to compete for a share of the $1m fund. The finalists have travelled to the UK to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created by Chivas in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, part of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.
During an intensive five days of learning, the finalists had the opportunity to develop leadership skills, take part in workshops and be inspired by global experts - before travelling to Los Angeles in July to compete for a share of $1 million to make their dream of creating a better future for the world a reality.
Andrea Warriner, deputy director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, said: "In the current uncertain political and economic climate, social entrepreneurs have an incredibly important role to play in securing a better future for our society. What this evening’s discussions highlighted is that in today’s world, entrepreneurs need to be brave to disrupt."
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