Calling all BAME start-ups and entrepreneurs – ‘National Innovation Challenge’ offers £150k in prizes for ‘Better ideas for a better world’.

INNOVATIVE businesses from Ethnic Minority backgrounds have the chance to present their big ideas in front of global brands and investors through the Innovation Challenge in its fifth edition, which aims to help promote fairness and diversity to level up the corporate playing field.

In this year’s Innovation Challenge ‘Better Ideas for a Better World’ (aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), BAME start-ups and entrepreneurs will compete for prizes worth over £150k.  The Innovation Challenge aims to spotlight the best innovators across a wide range of sectors and technologies, including AI & Machine Learning, Sustainable Cities and Consumer Health [see Notes to Editors for the complete list of Categories].

Describing his goal for the theme of this year’s Innovation Challenge, MSDUK Founder Mayank Shah said: “We recognise that the last 18 months have been very challenging for businesses, and the innovation challenge is a positive step on the ladder to back to business.  We are setting the bar for this year’s entrants very high because we believe that only through greater supplier diversity can our global partners find innovative solutions to the problems of tomorrow.”

Now in its fifth year, the Innovation Challenge was set up by MSDUK as part of its year-round programme of initiatives designed to fight the underrepresentation of BAME businesses in the global supply chain. Through this challenge, MSDUK breaks down barriers to entry for young start-ups, entrepreneurs and high-growth EMBs from all sectors by providing direct access to a range of highly influential corporate sponsors. Committed to investing in a diverse supply chain, the headline sponsor is Accenture, and other sponsors include GSK, Digital Catapult, Cummins and EY. The prizes are cash injections for the winning idea, business scholarships, and mentoring, which will give the finalists the boost they need to develop their big ideas into successful businesses.

“Like every other business entrepreneur in the 21st Century, the EMBs that succeed will be those that bring about social change through innovative ideas and technologies. After last year’s truly inspiring array of ideas, I am excited to see what the current crop of EMB social entrepreneurs can bring to the table.”

The deadline for entries is 31st June 2021. The finalists chosen by the judges will take part in a live pitching final, to be held in London on the 2nd September 2021.

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