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

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 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. 

Connect & Collaboration Lounge 

The Connect & Collaboration Lounge was an all-day event that fostered collaboration between corporates and EMBs. Facilitated by Justin Lambert and David Ward, this platform provided a unique opportunity for engaging in a mutual learning experience. Participants were invited to step into the shoes of the other side, allowing EMBs to understand the corporate perspective and vice versa. Through the immersive workshop, attendees gained insights into both sides of the equation. EMBs delved into the intricacies of corporate operations, while corporate representatives gained a deeper appreciation for the challenges and advantages faced by EMBs. 

EMB Workshops 

Presented by Heart of The City, the first workshop, titled “Gained a Competitive Edge through ESG and Sustainability,” directed EMBs to delve into the realms of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles and sustainability practices. This workshop empowered EMBs with the knowledge and strategies necessary to integrate ESG considerations and sustainability initiatives into their business operations. 

The second EMB workshop, “Personal Brand Through Networking,” was delivered by Ninder Johal, the CEO of Nachural Group. The workshop covered the transformative power of networking, which was seen as a dynamic tool for fostering professional connections, creating meaningful relationships, and ultimately generating positive impacts on business growth. During this workshop, attendees received practical guidance and valuable insights on how to leverage their personal brand in a manner that translated to tangible benefits for their business.  

Business Show 

Diversity took center stage at the Business Show, where more than 50 EMBs from various industries and sectors had their moment in the spotlight to showcase their outstanding products and innovative services. Alongside these EMBs, a remarkable lineup of corporate organisations like Accenture, Amazon, Google, GSK, Lloyds Banking Group and many more actively participated, serving as a powerful testament to their commitment to nurturing inclusive supply chains and championing supplier diversity, equity, and inclusion within the corporate world. Throughout the event, attendees witnessed numerous EMBs, corporate sourcing teams, procurement managers, and supply chain leaders connecting, networking, and building valuable relationships. 

“We wanted to say thank MSDUK for such a tremendous show on Friday, we made so many new contacts and have spent the day connecting to as many of them as possible. These are our dream clients, and we would have stood no chance of appearing before them if it weren’t for your organisation 

Bhavinder Tak | Founder | PiranhaUK.

Corporate Roundtables at the Business Show featured a carefully curated lineup of hosts, including industry leaders and corporate procurement specialists from various sectors. These discussions, which provided insights into procurement practices, industry trends, and innovative approaches, differentiated themselves through a personalized approach. Attendees had the opportunity to select a table aligned with the nature of their business, allowing them to tap into the expertise and experiences of hosts who have navigated challenges within their specific industry. 

In conclusion, the 2023 Business & Innovation Show was an exhilarating celebration of diversity, bringing together esteemed speakers, facilitators, attendees, and exhibitors from diverse backgrounds and industries. The event showcased its ability to draw a broad audience interested in supplier diversity and innovation. This year’s Business & Innovation Show truly was a testament to the profound impact of bringing together a diverse group of individuals and organisations with a shared commitment to supplier diversity and innovation 

“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

E. [email protected]

A. Studio 5, Phoenix Square,
     3 Burton Street, Leicester LE1 1TB UK

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