Nominations open for the MSDUK Innovation Challenge competition

MSDUK Innovation Challenge

Nominations have opened for the MSDUK Innovation Challenge 2017, a new initiative that aims to provide opportunities for BAME entrepreneurs in the UK. The event, which is open to individual entrepreneurs and businesses, is sponsored by Cummins and the final pitch will take place on 21st September 2017 at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham, during the Business Show organised by MSDUK, the leading national supplier diversity non-profit organisation. On offer are two scholarships to the  week long residential  Executive Business Programme at the Ivy League ‘Tuck Business School’ in Dartmouth, USA, worth $10,000 each.

The purpose of the Innovation Challenge is to provide young and established Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) entrepreneurs with a prospect to obtain funding and support by pitching an innovative product, solution or technology to corporate investors, venture capitalist and angel investors.

Encouraging BAME entrepreneurs to scale their businesses

The levels of entrepreneurship among the BAME community in the UK are increasing compared to the rest of the population and the number of ethnic minority start-ups is high compared to other groups. According to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) the Total Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA), the rate that measures the proportion of working aged people involved in setting up or running a businesses which is less than three years old, for ethnic minorities this rate is 11.7% compared to people from other backgrounds measuring at 6.4%. However, despite these positive figures BAME businesses often struggle to attract investment, have the appropriate support they need to develop or access opportunities with large organisations.

BAME business in the UK are at the forefront of innovative technology, for them to be successful it is necessary that access to markets, investment and know-how becomes available and through Innovation Challenge programme MSDUK is aiming to achieve just that“,  said Mayank Shah, CEO of MSDUK , “we also want to encourage those who are already in business to scale-up their activities through the wide corporate network we have developed over the past 10 years”.

This event will see a panel of judges selecting a winner from the categories below:

  • Healthcare
  • Fintech
  • Real-Estate
  • Sustainability (Environment, Energy, Conservation)
  • Technology (Artificial Intelligence, Augmented/ Virtual Reality/ IOT, Cyber Security)

About the Innovation Challenge

This business competition is sponsored by Cummins and the winners will be rewarded with two scholarships sponsored by EY including one for a Young Entrepreneur to attend a one week residential Executive Business Programme at the Ivy League ‘Tuck Business School’ in Dartmouth, USA. Each individual scholarship is worth USD $10k* and provides the winning entrepreneur an opportunity to attend one of the leading business schools in the world and master the skills to develop a high-performing business or opportunity to scale-up their business.

MSDUK invite applicants to apply for the competition and return all supporting documents by 14th July 2017. Companies can apply online for a chance to present their business case to potential investors. All eligible applications will be reviewed by an independent judging panel of industry experts and investors and the top 10 scoring applicants will be invited to the MSDUK 2017 Business Show on 21st Sept 2017 @ Edgbaston Cricket Ground to present before a panel of investors, procurement professionals and industry experts.

Closing date for MSDUK Innovation Challenge applications is 28th July 2017.

Click here to download the application form

Click here for further information on exhibiting or attending the MSDUK Business Show


MSDUK IS UK’s leading non-profit membership organisation driving inclusive procurement. Established in 2006, MSDUK works with over 45 purchasing organisations and in excess of 3,000 ethnic minority businesses to drive diversity and inclusion in corporate supply chains. MSDUK has played a leadership role in supplier diversity/inclusive procurement in the UK since its inception in 2006, working to encourage global and British companies to provide access to supply chain opportunities and engage with ethnic minority-‐owned businesses. MSDUK is part of a global network of similar organisations in Australia, Canada, China and South Africa -‐ all affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, USA.

MSDUK promotes the ethos of diversity and inclusion in public and private sector supply chains by identifying and introducing certified ethnic minority owned businesses ﴾EMBs﴿ to the procurement teams of large corporations with a drive to increase the diversity of their suppliers.

For further information visit

About Cummins

Cummins is a diverse, community-minded technical leader in the design, manufacture, sale and service of diesel engines, power generation equipment and related components. Operating as four distinct, yet complementary, business units which are engine, power systems, components and distribution businesses. Headquartered in us with a presence in over 190 countries and territories worldwide. More than 60% of sales are outside of us and Cummins have various manufacturing, distribution and service locations around UK.

Cummins corporate indirect purchasing team is based mainly in Stockton-On-Tees, UK, and procures goods and services to support Cummins businesses across Europe and middle east regions. Direct component purchasing teams are based in various sites across UK and Europe supporting the businesses.
For further information visit


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *