Unlocking Innovation Through Diversity: Nominations Open For The MSDUK Innovation Challenge

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Nominations have opened for the MSDUK Innovation Challenge 2018, a pitching competition that aims to provide opportunities for ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the UK with an innovative idea, product or technology. The Innovation Challenge which is open to individual entrepreneurs and businesses, is sponsored by Cummins and will take place on 26th September 2018 at the Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham, during the MSDUK Conference & Awards. On offer are three scholarships to the weeklong residential Executive Business Programme at the Ivy League ‘Tuck Business School’ in Dartmouth, USA, worth $10,000 each.

The purpose of this year’s Innovation Challenge is to ‘Unlock Innovation Through Diversity’ by highlighting the ground-breaking ideas, business models and products developed by ethnic minority entrepreneurs and providing a platform for them to obtain investment, access to market and expert support.

The ethos behind the Innovation Challenge is to eradicate barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs to spurn new enterprises and provide support for existing ones. The goal is to make innovation and entrepreneurship accessible to all and showcase diversity as key part to achieving this result. In an era where talks around diversity & inclusion are at its zenith, and yet data shows that much more is to be done, this country-wide competition is a unique program actively engaging the diversity agenda & supporting minority-led businesses.

Mayank Shah Founder & CEO of MSDUK commented: “Britain is home to some exceptional ethnic minority entrepreneurs, professionals and individuals that are at the forefront of introducing breakthrough technologies, innovative ideas and new products. However, very little attention is given to diversity within the UK start up community and the difficulties ethnic minority entrepreneurs face in bringing innovative ideas and products to the market. At MSDUK we aim to change that by supporting innovative ethnic minority entrepreneurs and businesses”

This event will see a panel of judges selecting a winner from the categories below:

  • Disruptive Businesses – New Business Models & Solutions Emerging Tech: AI, IoT, 3D Printing, Blockchain, Robotics and more.
  • Tech for Good – Healthcare, Education, Future Workforce, Financial Services, Security, Citizen Identity and more.
  • Sustainable Futures – Smart Cities, Built Environment, Energy, Renewables, Transport
  • Innovation Wildcard – Creative Industries, Leisure, Entertainment, an innovative idea don’t need to fit a box or category


To apply for the 2018 Innovation Challenge, click here


Closing date for MSDUK Innovation Challenge applications is 15th May 2018.

Click for more information on the Innovation Challenge

Click for further information on exhibiting or attending the MSDUK 2018 Conference & Awards



Help us promote the Innovation Challenge, access the Media Kit here


For more information, please contatc Ervin Picari: ervin@msduk.org.uk

Innovation Challenge Media Kit

How to use this kit

Thank you for showing interest in the MSDUK 2018 Innovation Challenge

The content below should be useful to you as you help us to promote the competition. It can be used if you have applied/ would like to apply for the Challenge or if you are part of the MSDUK network/ a member of an innovation hub and would like to share the event with colleagues, friends or networks who you will know will benefit by attending.

Social Media

Shareable Social Media Graphics 

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General Information/ Sample Tweets



“2018 – an exciting year to be a Geek”


Geeks celebrate milestone acheivements including growth and going green in year’s first quarter

Since its inception in 2007, Geeks has seen supersonic growth and can boast a customer base from all sectors, including the BBC, HMV, EasyJet, Houses of Parliament, Council of Europe and Royal College of General Practitioners. Feedback from the customer base, as shown in  the testimonials below, is simply outstanding. Staffing has grown to 80 people from the original three directors. More than 400 large and complex projects have been completed from inception to today and repeat business is 45%, which is almost unheard of.
2018 is a very exciting year to be a Geek. Having won several exciting and innovative Bespoke Software Projects in the last quarter Geeks are set up with a positive stance for the year ahead, fuelled by further developments in our disruptive technologies pushing the boundaries. Riding the wave of success from 2017’s award for Outstanding Innovation from the Global Business Excellence Awards. Geeks’ innovations in development and project delivery only serve to make Geeks even more competitive in Bespoke Software Development for speed, quality and complexity.
With actions inside the office including the new Senior management level making great strides in helping the business towards 100+ colleagues. In addition and on a more environmental level the Geeks have been hard at work driving the business towards becoming virtually plastic free. In a bid to have a lower carbon footprint as well as reducing our dependency on plastics, Geeks have decided to get rid of disposable containers and cups, as well as move to glass and ceramics in addition to reducing our deliveries to name a select few actions.


For more information about Geeks, please visit their website : https://www.geeks.ltd.uk/

Big US brand supported by UK luxury care hire SME City Inter-Rent



The Dream Collection has been developed by Hertz to specifically cater for the pinnacle of luxury car rental, their Dream Collection is now widely regarded as the UK’s premier luxury car hire company, boasting a comprehensive fleet of sports cars, supercars, convertibles, luxury saloons, 4×4’s, SUV’s, limousines and exotics, all together creating a stable bulging with Dream Cars. The collection is unrivalled within the prestige car hire industry. The story behind the collections creation involves a small yet highly experienced London based company – City Inter-Rent.
City IR has, under the guidance of its management team, built a strong company that specialises only in the rental of prestige vehicles, having for some twenty years built up a loyal client list that includes major blue chip corporations through to highly secretive Royal Families.
The key to their longevity is the ability to understand a client’s needs and offer a five star service at all times which includes vehicle choice, personal service, convenience, privacy and flexibility. It was City’s deep understanding of the sector that first attracted the attention of Hertz, the world’s largest vehicle rental company.
Although Hertz would love to say that the same level of service is on offer to a customer hiring a Mini as a Rolls Royce, in practice the whole process from start to finish requires a very different approach, and with this understanding the two companies first formed a trading partnership in 2016 and the pair have over the past two years developed a real understanding of one another’s business models and real results have been enjoyed – so much so that a new multi-year contract has recently been signed.
City Inter-Rent are very proud to be able to offer Hertz, and a now expanded joint client base, the expertise and understanding that allows exotic and prestigious cars, worth anything up to £400,000 be hired for just a small fraction of that cost. This successful trading partnership underlines that there are real business opportunities available for small, specialised companies to benefit, not just by themselves but with right-fit partners, from all of their hard build front-line experience.



Call: 0207 727 69 69

Mail: sales@cityinterrent.com


Please click here to see the latest deck displaying thieir services.

MSDUK Supplier Contracts IT Attends Scholarship Programme at the Tuck Business School in the US

Company Profile

Contracts IT is a specialist technology recruitment agency offering a unique and integrated approach to IT staffing for the corporate and public sector around the globe. The company prides itself in connecting technologists with some of the most innovative organisations in the world.  Offering many years of experience and working across niche industry areas, Contracts IT has helped organisations with their technology workforce solutions and supplemented these with greater learning and growth opportunities. In so doing, it has been fuelling social change for over eighteen years. The company partners with amazing leaders to bring not only tech workforce solutions but to help build stronger and more successful teams through cultural diversity.

The Opportunity

Contracts IT was presented with the opportunity to attend the Tuck Business School programme at Bristol Myers Squibb Supplier Diversity Day held in Chester and organised by MSDUK the leading supplier diversity advocate organisation in the UK.  The event was attended by Bristol Myers Squibb’s Global Procurement teams and Category leaders from across their European network. It was an invitation for ethnic minority businesses to engage with Bristol Myers with a view to learning more about their supplier diversity initiatives, their programs and about partnering with them as a supplier. This is one of a number of events that MSDUK organises in partnership with its corporate partners to support ethnic minority businesses in the UK


Attending the Tuck Business School programme Naheed Afzal, Co-Founder of Contracts IT stated: ‘Having always wanted to attend a business school programme I was thrilled to have been given such a wonderful opportunity, also the chance to learn and grow from one of the world’s finest business faculties and to be taught by some of the best teaching minds in business school today. Many meaningful connections were made with business leaders and different organisations’.

The Tuck Business school programme is designed as a strategic retreat exposing students to traditional academic disciplines but focusing on their businesses and the challenges they face in a globalized world marked affected by rapid technological change and evolving business models.

‘This was a fast pace programme with a focus on quantitative, analytical and intensely collaborative sessions that provides a deep dive into everything business with time and opportunity to reflect, refine and to manage future business performance and risk’. Naheed Afzal, Co-Founder, Contracts IT.




For more information about the Tuck Business programme, please click here

MSDUK is delighted to introduce a weekend entrepreneurial retreat in partnership with Ivy League Tuck Business School, Dartmouth, USA and Aston Business School, Birmingham UK. To learn more, please click here