EDI Business Challenge
sponsored by Microsoft EMBRACE Network

The EDI Business Challenge Sponsored by Microsoft EMBRACE ERG

What is the EDI Business Challenge Sponsored by Microsoft EMBRACE Network 2021/22?

It’s a competition based on a live business challenge set by Microsoft EMBRACE ERG. 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 EMBRACE ERG in partnership with Everything D&I (EDI). Each student will be recognised for their contribution .The challenge will comprise of 3 rounds (an initial round, semi-finals and a final) and all finalists will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of professionals from Microsoft. The benefits of joining the competition include:

  • Gain experience by working on real business challenges
  • Developing a competitive edge
  • Collaboration skills
  • Develop decision making skills
  • Network with leaders in industry
  • Presentation skills

Who is the competition open to?

The competition will be open to students from Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage.
All levels of undergraduate study, and all disciplines. We encourage multidiscipline teams.

When will it take place?

  • Round 1 – Launch Wednesday 20th October 2021 there will be a live presentation from Microsoft outlining the challenge.
  • Students will have the opportunity to join a series of workshops delivered virtually. Dates to be confirmed
  • Round 2 – Semi Finals Wednesday 9th February
  • Round 3 – Finals Wednesday 9th 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 2Semi-Finals – 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?

  • 1st place – £500 cash prize  and guaranteed Places on the Microsoft/EDI I Accelerator
  • 2nd place – £250 cash prize  and VIP Microsoft Experience Day
  • 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 is 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, 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 18th 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