Widely known as the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen started his working career unsure of what he wanted to do. Throughout his youth, he held multiples roles, such including working as a taxi driver, McDonald’s cashier, an emergency department clerk and a craft teacher. Amongst those roles, Ben also established his love for all things ice cream, working as an ice cream man and experimenting with making his own. In 1978 Ben decided to turn his hobby into a business, joining Jerry Greenfield to co-found Ben & Jerry’s. The pair opened their first ice cream parlour in Vermont, titled the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlour.
What began as a single shop in Vermont soon boomed into a thriving international business, with Ben’s holdings in the business worth a staggering $39.3 million. Today Ben & Jerry’s continues to dominate in the industry, diversifying with demand into the likes of vegan versions and innovative new products. As the business rose in popularity, Ben began to forge quite the reputation which he used as an avenue to highlight essential issues. Through later founding the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, Ben has helped various social causes and donates 7.5% of Ben & Jerry’s profits to the foundation to help with tacking global issues.
A keen philanthropist, Ben is as well regarded for his social responsibility as he is his business acumen. He has supported the Anti-Displacement Project and overseen organisations such as TrueMajority and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities. He also openly supports progressive causes such as the Black Lives Matter Movement. He has previously supported political campaigns of Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders, even becoming the co-chair of the 2020 Bernie Sanders Campaign. Ben has also been recognised for pioneering socially responsible business by the New York Open Centre and awarded the 1988 US Small Business Person of the Year.
Highly sought after as a public speaker, Ben engages audiences with his entrepreneurial spirit. Using the prominence from his illustrious brand, Ben is able to highlight the qualities of a successful and conscious business, inspiring other corporate clients to adopt his proven strategies. An ideal business management speaker, Ben covers how he was able to turn a hobby into a business, a talk not to be missed.