Friday 07 August 2020

 The British Council joined forces with London Metropolitan University (UK) to run its largest video pitch competition in 2020 – the Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge.

The competition provides thousands of young people (aged between 18 and 35 years) with the opportunity to develop their own business ideas and enterprise skills. The plaform also helps young entrepreneurs to raise their profile and improve their career prospects, at a time when youth unemployment is a growing concern and the Covid-19 health pandemic has disrupted economies around the world.

Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge 2020 Winners from Azerbaijan:

Category Winning Idea Winner(s) University
Country Champion "Kekalove Adaptive Fashion" - An adaptive fashion brand for persons with disabilities Mahammad Kekalov Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC)
People's Choice Award "Road Buddy" - Gadget/app to aid visually impaired people to navigate independently Solmaz Fatullayeva Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction
Creative "G2G Hotel" - The Game-to-Gamer hotel for game lovers Hasan Safaraliyev, Aytan Hajiyeva, Miryaqub Babayev Khazar University
Digital Technology "Mealman" - Order your food before arriving at the restaurant Zaman Karimov, Elnur Valikhanli Khazar University
Social Impact "Kekalove Adaptive Fashion" - An adaptive fashion brand for persons with disabilities Mahammad Kekalov Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC)

The winners were selected by a panel of national and international judges experienced in enterprise education and creative entrepreneurship. The general public voted for the ‘People’s Choice Public Vote Winner’, with over 50,000 people choosing their favourite idea.

The competition ran in the countries of South Caucasus, Central Asia and Ukraine from 2 March to 19 July 2020. Almost 500 new business ideas were shortlisted, supported by 110 higher education and creative institutions. Young entrepreneurs competed across three categories: digital technology, social impact and creative ideas. In response to Covid-19, the British Council introduced an additional part of the competition, the ‘Pandemic Response Innovation Award’.

Richard Everitt, Director Education Wider Europe, comments: “There has never been a greater need for innovative business ideas to help boost economies around the world and tackle youth unemployment. At the British Council we’re pleased to be supporting students, graduates and entrepreneurs who have the potential to make a huge difference to our world. With over one fifth of ideas responding to Covid-19, we’re excited to provide funding to the winners to kick-start new businesses and help them to achieve their dreams.”

Notes to Editor

About Creative SparkThe British Council designed and launched Creative Spark in 2018. Since then, its supported thousands of students, graduates and young entrepreneurs to break new ground with innovative business ideas. Another main aim of the programme is support new collaboration opportunities that can develop the creative economy in countries where there is great potential and where youth unemployment is a key issue. To do this, the British Council provides funding to higher education instutions and creative institutions to develop partnerships across the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine, and the UK.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

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