3 Ways To Encourage Innovation In Your Small Business

Innovation is a critical factor in the success and growth of any business, and it is especially important for Ethnic Minority-owned Businesses (EMBs). These businesses often face unique challenges that can make it difficult for them to innovate and thrive, such as limited access to funding, lack of diverse representation in leadership, and discrimination. Encouraging innovation can help these businesses overcome these challenges and succeed in the competitive business environment.

1. Access to Resources and Support

One of the main barriers to innovation for EMBs is often a lack of access to the resources and support needed to turn ideas into reality. Providing access to resources such as funding, mentorship, and training programmes can help these businesses get the support they need to bring their innovative ideas to fruition. Through MSDUK’s Innovation Challenge we provide funding and support to these businesses, to encourage them to continue to develop and achieve sustained growth.

This year’s overall winner will receive a £20,000 cash prize, 1-2-1 corporate mentoring and collaboration with JCDecaux for an Out-of-Home advertising campaign.

By providing access to resources and support, the MSDUK Innovation Challenge can help EMBs overcome the barriers they may face and achieve success.

2. Foster a Culture of Innovation

Creating a culture that values and encourages innovation is essential for any business, but it is particularly important for EMBs. By fostering a culture of innovation, EMBs can create an environment that supports and encourages new ideas, which can help drive growth and success.

Organisations like MSDUK aim to create opportunities for EMBs in the UK by fostering relationships with larger corporations and public sector organisations. It does this through several initiatives, including:

Events: MSDUK organises events and workshops where EMBs can connect with potential customers and suppliers, as well as learn about new technologies and trends in their industry.

Programmes: MSDUK offers a variety of programmes to help EMBs develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. For example, the MSDUK Innovation Challenge is MSDUK’s flagship pitching competition designed to break down barriers to entry for early-stage ventures, entrepreneurs, and EMBs from all sectors by providing exposure, recognition, and access to a range of prestigious corporate sponsors.

3. Recognise and Celebrate Innovation

Recognising and celebrating the innovations of EMBs can help encourage a culture of innovation and provide motivation for employees to continue pursuing new ideas. This can be done through award programmes, media coverage, and other forms of recognition. By acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of these businesses, we can help motivate and inspire them to continue driving innovation within their organisations.

The MSDUK Innovation Challenge will give you the opportunity to present your innovative solutions at the 2023 Business & Innovation Show. The event is attended by senior procurement professionals and industry leaders, where you can have the opportunity to attract potential partners and collaborators.

Apply to the MSDUK Innovation Challenge

The MSDUK Innovation Challenge is a great opportunity for EMBs in the UK to access the resources and support they need to drive innovation and achieve success. If you are interested in putting your business on the map, we encourage you to check out the MSDUK Innovation Challenge and learn more about the application process.


“Without MSDUK it would probably be a lot harder in terms of business-to-business sales functions because MSDUK gave us access to get our first client, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and from there we were able to snowball.”

Julie Chen



An Introduction to MSDUK.

“The MSDUK Innovation Challenge not only helped me personally; but included Kapsule in a supportive community. In that community we found our assumptions challenged, ideas stress tested, and received invaluable advice. That’s the power of #Diversity!”

David Chen


Corporate Members

Since 2006, we have been at the forefront of driving the supplier diversity movement in the UK. Align with organisations dedicated to supplier diversity and become a part of the MSDUK community. As a member, you will connect with a network of corporate leaders who, are committed to empowering ethnic minority businesses. The companies below represent just a glimpse of our extensive corporate network.

T. +44 (0) 116 2532520

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     3 Burton Street, Leicester LE1 1TB UK

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