QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: What is The Arthur Guinness Fund?
A: The Arthur Guinness Fund is an internal programme set up to further the legacy of Arthur Guinness and support social entrepreneurs around the world. It was established to continue the philanthropic legacy of founder Arthur Guinness and his descendants. Arthur Guinness and his family have been responsible for some of the most profound acts of corporate philanthropy in Irish history and created a legacy of goodness that continues in our company today. As an enlightened entrepreneur, Arthur Guinness had the vision to improve the communities and lives of the citizens where his products were sold around the world. Through The Arthur Guinness Fund, we're proud to be continuing his good work.
The Arthur Guinness Fund is an INTERNAL FUND created by Guinness & Co. The fund is NOT a separate charity, but its monies are held separately by Guinness & Co. and will be independently audited.
Q: When was The Arthur Guinness Fund established?
A: The Arthur Guinness Fund was conceived and launched in 2009, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the signing of the lease for the St James's Gate Brewery in Dublin.
Q: How is The Arthur Guinness Fund funded?
A: Guinness and parent company Diageo plc have currently committed to providing €7.4 million funding for The Arthur Guinness Fund, funded in part by revenues derived from ticket sales for global Arthur's Day events. The Arthur Guinness Fund is an internal fund created by Guinness & Co. The fund is not a separate charity, but its monies are held separately by Guinness & Co. and will be independently audited.
Q: Does The Arthur Guinness Fund represent a long-term commitment on behalf of Guinness?
A: The Arthur Guinness Fund's objectives are long-term and are designed to sustain a measurable, transformational change to communities around the world.
Q: What organisations does The Arthur Guinness Fund partner with?
A: The principal partners of The Arthur Guinness Fund are Ashoka, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and Virgin Unite.
Q: How many global markets have an Arthur Guinness Fund presence?
A: Projects in Ireland, Africa, Indonesia, France, Spain, the United States and the UK have already received support from The Arthur Guinness Fund. As part of its three year global partnership with Ashoka, The Arthur Guinness Fund is making a commitment from the fund to new social entrepreneurial projects around the world, in continued celebration of the philanthropic legacy of founder Arthur Guinness. The fund will therefore be open to projects and applications around the world. The new agreement establishes Ashoka as the most significant partner in the delivery of The Arthur Guinness Fund's objectives to date.
Q: What is Ashoka?
A: Ashoka is a global association that identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs. Since 1981, they have elected over 2,000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. In September 2010, The Arthur Guinness Fund announced a global, three-year partnership with Ashoka. As part of this partnership announcement and launch, The Arthur Guinness Fund is committing funds over the next three years to new social entrepreneurial projects around the world, in continued celebration of the philanthropic legacy of founder Arthur Guinness. The fund will therefore be open to projects and applications around the world.
Q: What is Social Entrepreneurs Ireland?
A: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) is an organisation dedicated to supporting high potential social entrepreneurs in Ireland, enabling them to maximise their impact. SEI was founded as a programme of The One Foundation in 2004. In 2007, in order to allow continued expansion of our activities, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland was established as a separate organisation. SEI is funded by both private foundations and individuals.
Q: What is Virgin Unite?
A: Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. It aims to unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems with an entrepreneurial approach, to help revolutionise the way businesses and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good. This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can address the scale and urgency of the challenges facing the world today. Virgin Unite also works on behalf of vulnerable young people across the globe.
Q: What is The Arthur Guinness Fund's partnership with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI)?
A: Guinness has been working with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) on specific domestic projects since 2009. We will continue to work with SEI on activation of The Arthur Guinness Fund in Ireland. To date, the Fund has already invested €1 million to 10 social entrepreneurs in Ireland awarded in 2010; In 2011 a further €0.65m will be invested in the 10 Awardees recently announced. Further investment in Ireland will be the subject of an announcement later in the year.
Q: Does The Arthur Guinness Fund support social entrepreneurs across all sectors or are any specific areas not covered?
A: The Arthur Guinness Fund operates under the auspices of the Diageo Marketing Code (DMC). As such, we are not allowed to support projects that relate to health or youth education initiatives.
Q: What are the selection criteria for The Arthur Guinness Fund?
A: The Arthur Guinness Fund wishes to invest in and support candidates with new ideas, solutions or an approach to social problems that will create systemic change at a community, regional and potentially national and international level. These entrepreneurs must be possessed by their idea, and will persevere in refining, testing and spreading their idea until it becomes the new pattern for society as a whole. They must use creativity day after day, year after year, if they are to succeed. Candidates must also be entirely ethical and trustworthy, just as Arthur Guinness was.
Q: What is the 'British Council'?
In Indonesia, The Arthur Guinness Fund has been working in partnership with the British Council Indonesia for two years already to conduct the Community Entrepreneurs Challenge which aims to identify and incentivise social entrepreneurs with the skills and support required to deliver measurable, transformational change to communities around the world: Doing good business by doing good.
Q: Isn't €7.4m a rather insignificant investment for a company of Diageo's size, given the size of some other corporate foundations?
A: It's true that certain other corporate foundations do control huge budgets. However, what we're trying to do with The Arthur Guinness Fund is different. Rather than distributing money to major causes via a traditional, top-down approach, we want to create a self-sustaining movement for grass-roots social entrepreneurship in those markets where we operate. We like to think of Diageo's initial investment as 'priming the pump' for social entrepreneurship, rather than simply doling-out funding in a one-way, unsustainable manner.
Q: Given the social problems associated with alcohol abuse, is it appropriate for a company like Diageo to be supporting social causes?
A: The Guinness name has always enjoyed a strong connection with philanthropy, established through the legacy of Arthur Guinness himself. We therefore feel it's appropriate that this legacy is allowed to survive through the creation of The Arthur Guinness Fund. The Diageo Marketing Code ensures no conflicts of interest between our day-to-day business and those projects supported by The Arthur Guinness Fund.