EDI Business Challenge
sponsored by Microsoft BAME Network

The EDI Business Challenge Sponsored by Microsoft BAME Network

What is the EDI Business Challenge Sponsored by Microsoft BAME Network 2020/21?

It’s a competition based on a live business challenge set by Microsoft BAME Network; students will work in teams of five to develop solutions, with an opportunity to apply their learning to a real world challenge. It’s a skills focused competition, for diverse talent and has been designed by Microsoft BAME Network in partnership with Everything D&I (EDI). Each student will be recognised for their contribution .The challenge will be comprised of 3 rounds (an initial round, regional semi-finals and a final) and all finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their responses to the brief to a panel of professionals from Microsoft. The benefits of joining the competition include:

  • Gain experience by working on real business challenges
  • Develop teamworking skills
  • Develop decision making skills
  • Network with leaders in industry

Who is the competition open to?

The competition will be open to students from African, Caribbean, Asian and Mixed heritage. There will be two levels of competition: Sixth Form or University

When will it take place?

  • Round 1 – Launch Wednesday 14th October 2020 there will be a live presentation from Microsoft outlining the challenge. Links will be sent to teams to join virtually

Students will have the opportunity to join a series of workshops delivered virtually. Dates to be confirmed

  • Round 2 – Semi Finals During the week of Wednesday 27th January or 3rd February teams from each region will be invited to compete for a place in the final
  • Round 3Finals Wednesday 3rd March teams will compete where one team will be announced as the winners with two teams receiving bronze and silver place.

“This is a great opportunity for young people from diverse backgrounds to get to know who we are and what we do at Microsoft. There’s so many different kinds of opportunities in the technology industry, and our belief is that if they have both the aptitude and the ambition, then nothing should stand in their way.”

Paul Benjamin, Chief Finance Officer, Microsoft UK

How will the challenge work?

Each student will work within a team of up to 5 members. The competition will be comprised of three levels:

  • Round 1Initial Team Submissions – each team will be required to submit a short video (2 minutes in duration), in response to a brief set by Microsoft in the live launch
  • Round 2Regional Semi-Finals x 3 – The top teams from the initial round will be invited to join a virtual regional semi-final
  • Round 3Finals – the final will be hosted online, and the teams will present their ideas to professionals from Microsoft

What are the competition prizes?

We have a range of prizes available; all have been selected specifically as they further enhance the employability prospects of our participants:

  • 1st place – Microsoft Mentors, Guaranteed Places on I Accelerator Microsoft Business Challenge work experience £500 cash prize 
  • 2nd place – VIP Microsoft Experience Day and £250 cash prize 
  • 3rd place – £150 Cash Prize 
  • All Entrants – Certificates of Participation will be awarded to all students participating in the competition, to highlight the invaluable experience gained.

How to enter

  •  A representative from the University or Sixth Forms are responsible for registering the team(s) of students from their institution and covering the entry fee for each team.
  • To enter a team or multiple teams from your university or sixth form, simply complete the registration form
  • A member of the EDI team will then be in touch by email to confirm your entry
  • Once you have selected your team, all team member names should be submitted to EDI


  • Yes, you can enter additional teams up until 7th October, please contact us to let us know how many additional teams you’d like to enter, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

  • Yes, the competition is open to undergraduate students from all faculties.

  • Each team must have a minimum of 3 members and can include up to 5 members in total.

  • Round 1, students to work in a team and (to create a 2 minute video with your team)

    Round 2 will be a half-day commitment and Round 3 will be a half day commitment.

  • A representative from each university or sixth form will need to register the teams from their institution via the registration form on this website. A member of the EDI team will then be in touch with further details.

  • Each team member will need access to a computer/mobile device and will also need to have internet access.

  • Judges will be drawn Microsoft