2023 Conference Recap: Celebrating Diversity and Innovation

MSDUK 2023 Conference - Business & Innovation Show Recap: Celebrating Diversity and Innovation

02 Oct 2023

This year's Business & Innovation Show stood out as an extraordinary and unprecedented experience. The atmosphere within the venue was not one to forget, thanks to the collective celebration of diversity by our esteemed speakers, facilitators, attendees, and exhibitors, all congregating under one roof. The event not only met but exceeded our expectations, drawing an impressive total of over 450 attendees from diverse backgrounds and industries. 

Our event was marked by a range of panel sessions that covered an extensive range of topics related to supplier diversity and its prospects, EMB (Ethnic Minority Businesses) Workshops, Corporate Roundtables, the Connect and Collaboration Lounge, and an entire day dedicated to the Business Show Exhibition. In essence, this year's Business & Innovation Show broke new ground, creating a unique platform for the celebration of diversity, knowledge sharing, and networking. This was a testament to the impact of bringing together a diverse group of individuals and organisations with a shared commitment to supplier diversity and innovation.  


Brace yourselves for the spectacular 2024 Conference - Business Diversity Connect, promising an even more extraordinary experience. In the upcoming event, you can anticipate an abundance of opportunities for learning, networking, and reveling in the vibrant tapestry of diversity. We're absolutely thrilled and can hardly contain our excitement as we eagerly await your presence at this magnificent gathering! To get updates on our 2024 Business Diversity Connect, click here. 

So, what set the Business & Innovation show apart this year?


Innovation Challenge Finals  

This year’s MSDUK Innovation Challenge was dedicated to enhancing diversity in entrepreneurship by assisting EMBs in presenting their innovative products and services. This annual pitching competition provided an opportunity for us to support forward-thinking companies led by underrepresented founders. We were privileged to host a remarkable group of entrepreneurs recognised for their exceptional contributions towards a more innovative world through groundbreaking solutions. The MSDUK Innovation Challenge this year witnessed an exceptionally fierce and exhilarating contest!   

The Innovation Challenge comprised four distinct categories: Digital Transformations, Social Impact, Innovation Pioneers, and Sustainable Development. It was a thrilling experience as all 11 of our finalists delivered remarkable pitches before a captivated audience. Among them, one exceptional winner emerged, Dupe Burgess, the Founder and CEO of Bloomful. Her pitch was not just captivating; it left an indelible impact on every person in the room. Dupe Burgess, CEO and founder of Bloomful was awarded a £20,000 cash prize, a one-year MSDUK membership, business mentoring from Accenture, and a JCDecaux advertising campaign!  A heartfelt congratulations goes out to all the category winners, as their innovations are poised to make a substantial impact on a global scale.  

Digital Transformations: Bloomful | Dupe Burgess | Founder/ CEO   

Social Impact: Beautiful Voice | Andre Hallack & Yun Bing | Co-Founders 

Sustainable Development: Aeropowder | Ryan Robinson | Founder/ CEO 

Innovation Pioneers: Nyfasi | Youmna Mouhamad | Founder/ CEO 


Diverse Panel Sessions 

We explored assorted approaches to supplier diversity through several engaging panel discussions, featuring industry leaders from prestigious corporations like Accenture, CBRE, City of London, Cummins, Cushman & Wakefield, EY, Google, Goldman Sachs, and many more. Explore further details about our speakers and the organizations they represent by clicking here. 

Throughout the day, we embarked on a journey into a wide array of pivotal subjects. These discussions covered the complicated impact of both conscious and unconscious bias on EMBs. We explored the latest trends in supplier diversity, best practices, and benchmarking, seeking to uncover the most effective strategies. Additionally, we delved into the critical topic of unlocking the full potential of Supplier Diversity Programmes, aiming to maximise their impact.  

Our conversations also extended to supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and diverse suppliers in measuring emissions and taking crucial steps toward decarbonisation, among numerous other compelling topics that enriched our event.