Big Idea Challenge
Big Idea Challenge  ©

British Council

The British Council Uzbekistan in partnership with London Metropolitan University, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education in Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Innovative Development of Uzbekistan oganised the Big Idea Challenge project which engaged Uzbekistan students in an established British innovation and enterprise competition.

The programme is aimed at giving students the opportunity to propose business ideas that will create positive change in society across Uzbekistan and potentially the world. 

This year’s competition placed a particular emphasis on developing ideas in the area of “Social Impact”

The participants were encouraged to make a difference to their communities in which they are living. Local needs had to be addressed with the help of your idea such as social issues, environmental issues or any support to the community.

The project also integrates with the British Council’s established English for Specific Purposes project. The Big Idea Challenge competition delivery was in the medium of English and Uzbekistan students had a new opportunity to develop their English Language practice in the specialist context of entrepreneurship. Similarly, university teachers who were involved in the programme benefited from strengthening their own English medium teaching.

Big Idea Challenge proposal had to answer the following questions:

  • Describing the problem or unmet need that your idea is addressing
  • Who you will target through your idea
  • How your idea will generate income
  • What makes your idea different, original or better 

We are happy to announce the winners of the Big Idea Challenge! The main prize went to the team from Tashkent University of Information Technologies for Nano Linguo project who will have a chance to participate in the Launch Pad weekly business training in London in September 2019. 

Well done to the students from Tashkent State Financial Institute with their project who became the most popular vote winner.

And we also congratulate the teams of ‘’, ‘Familia’, ‘Grasshopper’, ‘Virtual Excursion around Uzbekistan’ projects who got 2nd, 3d, 4th and 5th places. 

Who can take part?

 An individual or a team of three people who:

wants to own business by solving social issues

  • is ready to bring positive social change to your local community
  • bring new ways of solutions to an issue that community is facing nowadays 

Competition milestones

Participation at the competition: The competition will be announced on September 30th and the universities who would like to participate at the competition have to express their interest by 31 October 2018. There will be public relations launch of the competition during INNOWEEK. 

Trainer training: This activity would involve working with Uzbekistan higher education innovation experts who will be trained to roll out the Big Idea Challenge introductory workshops. 

Training for two selected universities: The workshop will be delivered for selected universities by a three hour workshop for up for 40 students in the morning.  The experts from the London Metropoliten University will provide 3 hour trainings to the students of two universities. There will be identified the winner of the day, however, it will not limit other participants to submit their application form. 

Dissemination of the workshop: November 2018 to January 2019 workshops, webinars/online sessions take place led by Uzbekistan trainers/workshop leaders. The workshops will be organized as per request of the universities. 

Competition entry requirements

  • The competition is open to Higher Education Institutions` students in Uzbekistan. 
  • Individuals or teams of up to three people can participate with innovative idea
  • Individuals or teams of up to three people can participate 
  • English is required (to be able to do presentation and Q&A in English)
  • Solve with the help of your idea such as social issues, environmental issues or any support to the community 
  • The participants must be above 18 year old and not older than 30 year old
  • The participants must be the resident of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Competitions stages

First stage of the competition: Competition entry submission opens on November 1 2018 and deadline for submission of proposals is 1 February 2019. Submissions will be made online, please follow this link -

The ideas are shortlisted on 4 February 2019. The participants are information on 6 February 2019

Second stage of the competition: the shortlisted groups are invited to eight hour bootcamp workshop to take place on 20 February 2019, involving expert from London Metropolitan University and entrepreneur mentors. The participants will be invited back to record their video pitch on 21 February. 

Till 13 March 2019 judging panel convenes to shortlist video pitches; 

Third Stage of the competition: Selected videos are placed on web-portal. Popular voting opens on 20 March and ends on 22 April 2019. 

Winners selection: The judges identify the main competition winner and five runners up. In addition the winner of the “Popular vote” will be the team that attracts the largest number of votes via the competition voting platform, however it will not influence the final decision of the judges to identify the main winner.


  • Judging to be conducted by a panel consisting of the team involved in the UK based competition who would be made up of establish entrepreneurs and those involved in start-up funding:  
  • Representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of innovation; 
  • Established Uzbekistan entrepreneurs;  
  • London Metropolitan University staff members; 
  • Independent experts;
  • The trainer teams from Uzbekistan universities and the mentors and innovation experts; 
  • International experts could be engaged collaboratively by video conference.

Competition winners and awarding

  • The main competition winner will be the individual or team that in the view of the competition judges, has the best chance of developing their idea into a sustainable business;
  • The five runners up will be identified that also have a strong prospect of bringing their ideas to market successfully; 
  • The winner of the “Popular vote” will be the team that attracts the largest number of votes via the competition voting platform. 

The final winners will be selected  for “Bootcamp”  and provided with the certificate for participation.

The main winner selected by the judges will have opportunity to participate on online regime/visit by one of the team member at the Awarding Ceremony in London on 9 May 2019 and  to participate at one week Launch Pad event of London Metropolitan University in London in July 2019.