Ben & Jerry’s says start-ups must begin with values

Start-up brands must base their business on passions and values, according to Jerry Greenfield, founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand, who says that just having a good business idea is not enough.

Ben and Jerry's

Speaking to Marketing Week at the judging day for Ben & Jerry’s sustainable entrepreneurship competition, ‘Join Our Core’, Greenfield said: “What I typically tell people is that you should be doing something you are passionate about, that you believe in and is part of your values, and is not just something that you think is just a good business idea. They just come and go, but your values and beliefs will take you through the difficult times that any start-up venture will have.

“I also think it is important to start small. A lot of times people want to have grandiose visions and they don’t take the time to learn all the individual components of what they need to do to be successful.”

Join Our Core was launched earlier this year to encourage socially responsible entrepreneurs to create new models for sustainable business that balance financial stability with innovative ideas, environmental awareness and positive social impact.

The finalists will win a will a €10,000 prize to fund their start up and have their business advertised on tubs of Ben & Jerry’s.

Greenfield adds: “I think there is a trend of businesses being genuinely interested in social or, probably more so, environmental concerns. I think consumers are smart enough to know when companies are doing something they honestly believe in and when they are just trying to be seen a certain way. People should judge Ben & Jerry’s by its actions. Talk is cheap.”

Ben & Jerry’s began as an independent home made ice cream brand in 1978. It was bought by Unilever 12 years ago.

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