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Competition

Open Business Creators Fund 2024

Open Business Creators Fund 2024

About this competition

  • 1 hour study
  • Level 3: Advanced

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    • Welcome to the Open Business Creators Fund 2024

      Register for the competition by clicking on this link. 

      With a total prize fund of £50k made up of grants of £1000 to £10,000 provided by the Higher Education Innovation Fund and Santander Universities, this funding competition will support students and alumni at the idea stage through to those running an early stage start-up and established businesses.

      This year we have two funding streams for students and alumni to apply to: commercial enterprise and social enterprise with categories for ideas, early-stage and established businesses. To identify the winning businesses our judges panel will ask students to use a platform called Validate to explain their business models and present a portfolio. Participants will have the months of February and March to develop and test their business models in the Validate platform and judges will review their portfolios in April (the submission deadline is 15 April 2024).

      We will award:
      10 x £1000 grants in our Curious category. Five will go to commercial businesses and five to social enterprises. This category is for students who have an idea that they've been thinking about for a while, or maybe they've even put some of those thoughts into action. To enter, you will create a Business Model Canvas in Validate and submit a statement for how you would use £1000 to further your idea.

      4 x £5000 grants in our Serious category
      . Two will go to commercial businesses and two will go to social enterprises. This category is for businesses that have been registered and trading for less than 2 years. We want to know all about your product or service and how it creates value for your customers. To enter, you will create a Business Model Canvas in Validate, submit a 2-minute video pitch and a plan for how you would use £5000 to further your business.

      2 x £10,000 grants in our Committed category to one commercial business and one social enterprise.
      The Committed category is for businesses/start-ups that have been trading for more than a year and are looking to accelerate their growth. To enter, you will create a Business Model Canvas in Validate, submit a video pitch as well as a fully-costed plan for how you would use £10,000 to further your business. If shortlisted, you will be invited to pitch live via Microsoft Teams to our panel of judges in May.

      Click on the 'Next' button below to read more about how to enter, support available and view answers to frequently asked questions.

      Open University students are eligible to enter the competition if they are resident in the UK and currently studying at undergraduate or postgraduate level, or have graduated on or after 31 January 2022 at undergraduate level or above. Employees of The Open University are not eligible to enter. If you have any questions or need alternative formats to the materials provided here, please get in touch with us at RES-student-programmes@open.ac.uk.

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  • This competition is part of a collection

    This competition is part of a collection

    This competition is part of a collection of competitions called Open Business Creators. There is 1 competition in this collection so you may find other competitions here that maybe of interest to you.

    See this collection

  • Competition learning outcomes

    As a result of participating in this competition students will be able to:

    • describe the elements of the Business Model Canvas
    • present their business idea to a panel of judges (potential investors)
    • have a plan in place for launching their business idea

  • Course dates:

    First Published 24/01/2024.

    Updated 20/05/2024

Competition content

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About this competition

  • 1 hour study
  • Level 3: Advanced

Sign up to get more

You can start learning at any time. By signing up and enrolling you can track your progress and earn a Statement of Participation upon completion, all for free.

View this competition

Sign up to get more