MSDUK Innovation Challenge

Mayank Shah
Mayank Shah

MSDUK Innovation Challenge. Mayank Shah is a guest writer for The Maverick Paradox Magazine and he has advised us of his company’s new Innovation Challenge.

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

In this year’s Innovation Challenge ‘Innovative Ideas for a Better World’, ethnic minority-owned start-ups and entrepreneurs will compete for numerous prizes, including a £20,000 cash prize and more. The Innovation Challenge aims to spotlight the best innovators across a wide range of sectors and technologies with entry categories covering Digital Transformations, Social Impact, Sustainable Development, and Innovation Pioneers.

Describing his goal for the theme of this year’s Innovation Challenge, MSDUK Founder Mayank Shah said: “We recognise that the last couple of years have been very challenging for businesses, and the Innovation Challenge is a positive step on the ladder to get back to business. We are setting the bar very high for this year’s ethnic minority-owned business (EMB) entrants because we believe that only through greater supplier diversity can our global partners find innovative ideas and solutions to create a better world for tomorrow.”

Now in its seventh year, the Innovation Challenge was set up by MSDUK as part of its year-round programme of initiatives designed to fight the underrepresentation of EMBs 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 organisations. Committed to investing in a diverse supply chain, the headline sponsor of Innovation Challenge 2023 is Accenture, and other sponsors include GSK, J.P. Morgan, EY, Cummins and Haleon. The prizes for this year’s overall winner include a £20,000 cash prize, corporate 1-to-1 mentoring and a digital out-of-home advertising campaign, in collaboration with JCDecaux. This will give them the boost they need to develop their products and services into successful businesses.

Mayank continues, “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 ethnic minority entrepreneurs can bring to the table.”

Full details of the challenge, including the application form, can be found here

Entries open on 6th February and the deadline for entries is 23:59 on 2nd May 2023.  The shortlisted applicants will take part in a live pitching final, to be held at the MSDUK Business & Innovation Show which takes place in London on 14-15thSeptember 2023.

The Innovation Challenge 2023 comprises four categories which businesses from Ethnic Minority-Owned Start-ups and Entrepreneurs are invited to enter.

The categories in full:

Digital Transformations, Social Impact, Sustainable Development, Innovation Pioneers

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). 

Social Impact: addressing social issues and challenges that will benefit and improve society, for example products and services within healthcare, education, skills development, diversity programmes, HR, recruitment. 

Sustainable Development: focusing on improving the environment/s we live in, for example generating less waste, upcycling and recycling of plastics, addressing climate change, using natural resources sustainably, working with communities to improve habitats and surroundings etc. 

Innovation Pioneers: open to any founder and entrepreneur who believe that they are challenging the status quo with their highly unique innovations – ethnic minority businesses who are trying to transform the sector/s they operate in, challenging traditional out-of-date methods & processes.

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