Ginerosity lives up to its label as a gin which offers both a delicious drink whilst delivering a difference to young adults in the community. A first of its kind, a gin social enterprise where profits are reinvested in to improving the prospects of young adults both here in the UK and worldwide.

Recently celebrating their first birthday, Ginerosity has made a definite impact on a specialist Scottish gin market, where competition against leading brands such as Eden Mill and Hendricks can prove challenging. The success of its first year is likely down to the drivers behind the brand, a collaboration of drinks experts in Scotland known for running their own private successful companies and experiencing first-hand the challenges and expectations of growing a new business.

An idea which transpired over a pint in Harry’s bar in Edinburgh, soon led to a 100-day turnaround from idea to recipe, branding, design, distilling and the first Ginerosity bottle being sold mid-November. Evidently not a brand lacking in ambition and it’s five directors who already dedicated their time to charitable causes, decided it was only natural to create a product where they could give back to the community and run alongside, albeit separate, to their own unique businesses.

Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell, co-founders of award-winning Pickering’s Gin are two of the board directors who support the brand through distilling and packaging the product at their Pickering’s distillery in Summerhall, Edinburgh. Chris Thewlis, a social enterprise entrepreneur and board member of Social enterprise Scotland, brings great enthusiasm and knowledge for engaging with the brand’s social enterprise ethos. David Moore offers his services as a drinks industry and export specialist drawing from his background as Director of Craft Beer Clan of Scotland and Fusion Whiskey Limited. The fifth member of the team Dave Mullen, Executive Creative Director at marketing agency Story UK understands the demands of the market and guides the product in how to make a mark on a very exclusive and prospering gin market.

All the directors felt passionately that they wanted the profits from the sales of Ginerosity to go to helping young adults. After looking at different charity partners, they decided to team up with Challenges Worldwide, who offer disadvantaged adults the opportunity to work in Africa with a small business for three months, contributing both to the local community and building up their own skills for the future. On their return, Ginerosity fund the young adults to sit a business qualification, drawing on their experience. The hope is that this will spark a ripple effect where those individuals will go on to share their enthusiasm, drive and ambition in inspiring and helping others and investing their skills in to communities here in Scotland.

I caught up with Colin Campbell, media and operations manager for Ginerosity who talked me through the journey of the brand, it’s unique selling point and delicious taste, as well as plans for the future.

Ginerosity is very much in its infancy but has already made a huge mark on the gin market for a new drinks brand in its first year, how did you get off the ground to begin with?

“We have been very lucky to have five highly experienced directors backing Ginerosity and dedicating their already limited time despite juggling with their own busy company schedules. Right in the beginning we received support from Resilient Scotland who supported Spirits for Good – our official name – with some initial start-up costs through funding and a loan.

"Scottish gin has a strong reputation worldwide and the distilling industry here is so well regarded as a mark of quality, so ultimately, with the talented team we have on board, we were going to create a very good product which in time will hopefully compete against established leading brands.”

Scotland’s first social enterprise gin – your unique selling point - are you making a difference to improving the lives of young adults in the community?

“We had an opportunity to use the power of a brand to do good and although it is still early days we have already started reaping the rewards of our efforts. We have helped seven young adults since this summer find placements in Africa and go on to attain their business qualifications from the Chartered Management Institute; a level five in professional consultancy.

“We recruit deserving young adults who fundraise for most of the cost of the trip and they are partnered with a local young adult in Uganda or Rwanda, to name but a few places. The businesses they work in range from local English schools to shoe makers and yoga businesses. They are involved in everything from marketing to accounting and then can bring back their business skills and sit their qualification which we fund them through.

“In order to measure our social impact, we are being observed by Dr Sarah Ivory an academic in social enterprise at Edinburgh University who acts as an independent authoritative body measuring our success. she is also going to take some of the good and bad points she has witnessed watching us grow as a business, and apply them in her teaching for use in case studies. Another way in which we hope to be actively helping young adults.

“We also have an Independent panel who we see as the Ginerosity champions, who assess applications for the placements and spread the word of the opportunities we are offering.”

How well has the brand done in terms of entering the wholesale market and competing with the Scottish gin market?

“We are now in two supermarkets, Asda and Aldi, in select stores in Scotland. Asda took us on after six months of launching which was an incredible boost and Aldi has incorporated our gin in to their Christmas gin festival where we made a huge impact – selling 500 bottles in one weekend, we almost sold out. Our gin can be found in all major drinks specialists as well as online on Amazon, flavourly, our own website and lots of gin clubs.”

Does Ginerosity deliver on taste?

“Our gin is delicious and Director Matt Gammell was the genius behind our flavour, combining 10 botanicals which are all ethically sourced through Joseph Flach. It makes a delicious gin and tonic with its citrus flavour, working well with a mint garnish, however, it is also delicious on its own, as there is so much flavour, it doesn’t need enhancing.”

What next for Ginerosity, what does the next year and furthermore to come look like for the brand?

“We would like to expand the charitable partners we work with, so we can reach more young adults and offer further opportunities. We of course want to build on our brand, increase our profits and be able to finance more young people through their placements.

“We needed to get our first year under our belts, but I think 2018 is going to be a big year for ourselves, we have some ambitious ideas in the wood work. We have a well-designed product, with a good story behind it, we believe it has a lot of growth potential.”