Posted 13 February 2020

Aspiring entrepreneurs: This is your chance to make game-changing ideas a reality

Do you have a creative idea that has the potential for widespread positive impact? Whether it’s a dream business, social enterprise or side hustle, the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs (DBACE) are on the lookout for brilliant concepts and initiatives that set out to make the world a better place. DBACE is delivered through Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility Made for Good social enterprise programme, in partnership with MeWe360, a not-for-profit incubator especially for the creative industries. Applications are now officially open and there’s £50,000 of funds up for grabs, as well as many other incredible business support and mentoring opportunities. Intrigued? Read on to find out how to get involved...

Could you be one of the next DBACE winners?
It can be pretty difficult to get great business ideas off the ground without investment or professional backing. This is why DBACE is awarding selected entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams a reality.

Individual award funds range from £2,000 to £20,000, as well as a 12-month business support plan (worth £100,000 cumulatively). On top of this, DBACE is also offering guidance from some of the industry’s greatest innovators.

The closing date for submissions is April 7, 2020 at 11.59pm, and applicants must be UK-based, aged between 18 to 30, with a creative idea driven by an urge to impact the world in a positive way.

What is DBACE looking for?
DBACE is searching for inspiring minds from all backgrounds, setting out to improve lives and communities with creativity. So far, the programme has helped over 340 young creatives and launched 200 new ventures all over the UK, and there is no one size fits all.

Previous winners span ethical fashion brands, like Bukky Baldwin, to social enterprises like Activate the City, which helps to transform vacant urban spaces, and lifestyle platform Black Ballad, which has gone on to become a recognised hub created for and by black women.

The variety is endless, and no idea is too small. DBACE encourages all entrepreneurs to take a chance and get applying, even if the initiative hasn’t fully launched yet.

Your guide to applying

If that’s all sounding compelling and your finger is hovering over that apply button, hold fire one moment... We have some pointers to keep in mind.

Getting your application right
Remember to give yourself plenty of time before the deadline on April 7. The application process involves submitting a video pitch (up to one-minute long), as well as filling out a form made up of 18 important questions. Many of these questions are open to answers of up to 300 words, so be prepared to share your purpose, well-researched insights and accurate numbers – including the following:

A description of the idea, specifically the product or service being offered and how it aims to have positive impact
Proof of demand and quality, and how you feel it is different to competitors
Your inspirations and ambition with the project
Financial information, including current income and forecasted profit details
A video pitch, for which you can find a comprehensive guide and tips here

One of five winners, Ibukun Jesusanmi Baldwin, the founder of Bukky Baldwin

Help is on hand
DBACE has loads of great resources available to you, but overall you’ll want to ensure that your idea and answers are clear and straightforward. Imagine you’re explaining your business idea to a friend that has no knowledge of it. You’d want to make it as digestible as possible, right? Don’t feel rushed, refrain from repeating yourself and know your idea inside out.

Ahead of the April deadline, MeWe360 is hosting one-to-one DBACE support sessions with members of the team to help you submit the best application possible. Find your city below or another information event to help you get the most out of the process.

Meet and greets
Manchester: Feb 19, 2020
London: Mar 10, 2020

March 2, 2020, 19:00
March 14, 2020, 10:00

Stay on top of timings
After applications close at the end of March, shortlisted applicants will be announced on May 15; live pitch heats take place in London on June 15–19, with finalists announced shortly afterwards; and the final pitch and awards takes place on June 30.

Feeling ready? Whether you’re in it alone or part of a collaborative team, head over to the DBACE site to find out more and give your business an exciting boost, or an idea its best shot at hitting the ground running.

Good luck!


We have partnered with Deutsche Bank’s CSR Made for Good social enterprise programme to bring you coverage of DBACE opportunities and the impact it’s had previously. Look out for further features over the coming months, and learn more about DBACE here.

Every year, Lecture in Progress partners with like-minded brands and agencies to support our initiative and keep Lecture in Progress a free resource for students and emerging creatives. To find out more about how you can work with us, email [email protected]

Written by Creative Lives in Progress
Mention Deutsche Bank – Made for Good
Mention MeWe360