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MSDUK Innovation Challenge

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Innovation Challenge is now in its 8th year and applications for 2024 open in February. Throughout the years, this unique opportunity has championed ethnic minority entrepreneurs, as we continue to break down barriers and push boundaries for minority businesses and support them with their growth and development.

MSDUK Innovation Challenge, this year in partnership with ESDP, is open to any ethnic minority-led business located in the UK and selected European countries. Focusing on innovative ideas for a better world, 12 shortlisted finalists will present their unique and innovative products/services at the Innovation Challenge Finals taking place in September in London, UK. The overall winner will walk away with a £20,000 cash prize.

FEATURED VIDEO

Innovation Challenge Winner 2023

Digital Transformations:

Solutions that make processes more efficient and meet changing business and market requirements, including automation, data and analytics, reducing production costs, remote working, SaaS (Software as a Service) etc.

Innovation Pioneers:

Industry 4.0: Entrepreneurs who believe that they are challenging the status quo and out-of-date processes. Examples include innovations to support manufacturing and production processes, reduction in water, waste and energy from supply chains etc.

ESG – Environmental, Social & Governance:

Focusing on solutions that tackle issues relating to the environment/s we live in and/or addressing social issues and challenges that will benefit and improve society. Examples include sustainability solutions, addressing climate change, healthcare solutions, education, working with local communities etc.

Entrepreneurs of Europe:

This category is exclusive to European-based ethnic minority businesses. Open to entrepreneurs operating in any industry or sector, who are looking to expand within Europe and into the UK – those that have created solutions that are cutting-edge and transformative.

Programme Benefits

£20,000 cash prize for overall winner

£2,500 cash prize for 3 category winners

Full conference passes for 12 finalists

1-2-1 corporate mentoring from Accenture for the overall winner

£10,000 video production package for the overall winner, courtesy of Impress Video

£20,000 cash prize for overall winner

1-2-1 corporate mentoring from Accenture for the overall winner

£2,500 cash prize for 3 category winners

£10,000 video production package for the overall winner, courtesy of Impress Video

Full conference passes for 12 finalists

Timeline

5 February 2024

Applications open for Innovation Challenge 2024

7 May 2024

Submission deadline for applications

25 June 2024

Pitch Training Workshop – in-person

9 July 2024

Financial Planning Workshop – online

18 September 2024

Innovation Challenge Finals

Eligibility Criteria

For UK-based applicants:

You must be a UK resident (UK citizen, ILR or on a visa that leads to ILR)

An Ltd registered on Companies House, or a CIC or Freelancer (please note CICs or Freelancers will not be eligible for MSDUK membership)

Your company must fall into 1 of the 2 categories: NON-WHITE ETHNIC MINORITY BUSINESS – a business with a founder/s of a non-white ethnic minority origin currently holding a majority (51% or more) equity stake OR NON-WHITE ETHNIC MINORITY-CONTROLLED BUSINESS – A business founded with the non-white ethnic minority founder/s holding a majority equity stake (51% or more), and currently with this founder/s holding 25% (or more) ownership – for businesses that have received investment and have since diluted

For European-based applicants:

You must be a citizen, permanent resident or on a resident’s permit of the European country in which your business is located and operates in

Your company must be a business with a founder/s of an ethnic minority origin currently holding a majority (51% or more) equity stake

You will need to provide proof of your business (this may include registration, certification documents, company accounts, date of incorporation etc.)

Becoming a finalist is a significant win in itself – the network and visibility gained through participating in the MSDUK Innovation Challenge is truly remarkable.

Youmna Mouhamad

Nyfasi

MSDUK Innovation Challenge Category Winner 2023

There are so many benefits to the MSDUK Innovation Challenge – there are multiple networking opportunities and exposure to influential industry leaders.

Giovanni Montefiori

Beakbook

MSDUK Innovation Challenge Finalist 2023

My advice to ethnic founders looking to participate in the Innovation Challenge is to simply apply; you gain a lot from the experience, such as meeting new people, networking with the community, and gaining visibility for your business. It’s an excellent platform to grow, expand, and think beyond your current business plan.

Sheana Yu

Aergo Health

MSDUK Innovation Challenge Overall Winner 2022

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Corporate Members

Since 2006, we’ve pioneered the supplier diversity movement in the UK and Europe. Join the ranks of organisations committed to supplier diversity. As a member of MSDUK, you’ll be part of a community of corporate leaders who share our passion for empowering ethnic minority businesses.

Interested in this programme?

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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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