The British Council ran its largest video pitch competition, the Big Idea Challenge, to encourage young people (18-35 year olds) to develop innovative start-up ideas and enterprise skills. This is part of the Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme that provides the next generation with the ability to develop business ideas.
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 40,000 people involved.
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The competition ran in the countries of South Caucasus, Central Asia and Ukraine from 2 April to 9 June. Thousands of young entrepreneurs participated with over 800 applicants shortlisted and 48 higher education and creative institutions supported this initiative. Young entrepreneurs were competing in three categories: Digital Technology, Social Impact and Creative Ideas.
All country champions will share prizes worth £25,000 in ‘start up’ funds, as well as mentoring support, a financed study tour to the UK (Oxford and London). Finalists will be awarded with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) courses on intellectual property to help entrepreneurs protect their business ideas.
Richard Everitt, Director Education and Society, Wider Europe, British Council comments:
“We are delighted to work in partnership with London Metropolitan University to generate over 500 new business ideas as part of the Creative Spark programme, and to unlock incredible creative talent in the programme countries.”
For full details about the Big Idea Challenge in Azerbaijan, please visit:
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About Creative Spark
Creative Spark is a five-year initiative that aims to develop enterprise skills and the creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia, South Caucasus and Ukraine.
The programme focuses on three areas to give young people improved access to international networks, markets and resources:
- Development of partnerships between universities and creative institutions in the UK and their equivalents in programme countries – this year all 90 partner organisations involved in the programme will come together at the University of Oxford (UK) to share expertise, learnings and further develop their projects.
- Delivering enterprise skills packages to students, graduates and creative entrepreneurs, ranging from pitching ideas and starting a business, to protecting intellectual property and securing financial support – everyone involved will be able to participate in an online ‘enterprise pitch competition’ across the programmes countries with UK based professional development courses.
- Delivering an English Learning Programme with a range of new digital language learning content. This will include online learning packs on the English Channel platform, online courses and new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) focused on English for entrepreneurship and English Clubs.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.
British Council is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.