Better Ideas for a Better World — exploring the theme of our Innovation Challenge 2019


Better Ideas for a Better World — exploring the theme of our Innovation Challenge 2019


Putting MSDUK’s Innovation Challenge 2019 into a global context, exploring our theme and categories and revealing just what drives the ambitions of MSDUK for this year’s challenge.


As we launch this year’s Innovation Challenge, it is against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty unrivaled in living memory. But amongst the uncertainty lie opportunities for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to find innovative solutions to problems in every field, from healthcare to tech, finance to the environment.

It is our hope that our broad and inspiring theme of “Better ideas for a better world” captures the imagination of young founders, aspiring start-ups as well as high-growth EMBs in the UK and motivate them to take a step towards accelerated growth and success: by taking part in our challenge and gaining access to a wealth of opportunities, prizes and investment.

Why ‘Better Ideas for a Better World?’

At no other time in history has there been a more pressing need for truly radical solutions to the problems facing the global community. From governments and the planet in crisis to emerging technologies and economies changing the socio-economic landscape on an almost daily basis, the challenges to progress have never been greater.

As leaders, entrepreneurs and thinkers search for answers to these problems it is vital that society’s minorities are part of the solution. Why? Because in the UK alone, it is projected that ethnic minorities will make up 20 percent of the overall population by 2051 (footnote).

Global brands and investors looking for the next big idea to keep them ahead of the competition need to factor in this demographic, not least due to its combined estimated disposable income to be £300bn (footnote).

It is MSDUK’s vision that this year’s Innovation Challenge will do just that — bring the vital input of ethnic minority social entrepreneurs and innovators to the attention of global organizations seeking innovative solutions to the problems of tomorrow.

The Innovation Challenge

Now in its third year, the Innovation Challenge brings together cutting edge EMBs based in the UK and leading corporate brands committed to supplier diversity, to create a truly unique ideas exchange. We are proud that our sponsors and partners include some of the biggest global brands committed to supplier diversity, including Accenture, Johnson & Johnson, Digital Catapult and headline sponsor Cummins.

This year’s competition invites applicants working on the most pioneering ideas and technologies, focussing on:

  • Industry 4.0 (including AI, Big Data and Internet of Things)
  • Social Innovation (including Future Workforce, Social Inclusion)
  • Healthcare & Wellbeing (Med Tech, Consumer Health,
  • Sustainable Futures (Environment, Energy, Recycling & Renewables,
    Smart Cities, Responsible Production & Consumption).

For more details on the categories, watch out for our next blog or head to the Innovation Challenge entry page on our website.

Last year’s winners came from the Sustainable Futures category — Polipop — the world’s first biodegradable sanitary product. You can read more about them and other finalists here.


It is our hope that this year’s inspiring challenge theme and categories will attract a wide range of EMBs to take part. Together with our sponsors and partners, we will then mentor and guide entrants through the pitching process, narrowing the entrants down to 13 finalists who will present their ideas at a finale in London on 17th September 2019.

Prizes on offer include MSDUK membership, £5,000 cash prize plus £40,000-worth of scholarships for the winners at a world leading Business School — Ivy League’s Tuck School of Business in US, mentoring programmes with Accenture and Digital Catapult, plus access to investments, buyers and much more.


What’s Next?

Like most of the current business leaders (and even politicians) in the UK, here at MSDUK, we don’t know what the future holds for the UK economy. But we do know that whatever the challenges, there will be talented and enterprising individuals and businesses from ethnic minorities who bring innovative ideas to the table — and we will continue in our (more than a decade-long) campaign to provide access to investors, markets, and training that will help them succeed.

As the Challenge progresses, you can check back here for more exclusive insights on the process, tips from previous entrants and winners, inspiration from our sponsors and much more — or you can keep up-to-date with the Challenge on Twitter or Linkedin.

For full details of how to enter visit our dedicated website.