Birmingham hosts UK’s largest supplier diversity conference


Birmingham enhanced its credentials as a centre of diversity in business as it hosted the MSDUK Conference and Awards on the 26th of September 2018.


Birmingham was chosen ahead of London to play host to the UK’s largest supplier diversity conference, with VOX Conference Centre welcoming a worldwide audience.


The two-day MSDUK Conference and Awards, which has been running for six years, was must-attend event for Ethnic Minority Businesses who were looking to drive inclusive procurement and connect with diverse like-minded businessmen and women.


This year’s stellar line-up of speakers included news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Ava Vidal, stand-up comedian, Dinesh Dhamija, founder of Ebookers and Kai Nowosel, CPO of Accenture. They were joined by over 600 delegates, 200 entrepreneurs, 100 buyers, 60 exhibitors, 40 global brands and 50 supplier diversity leaders.


Mayank Shah, CEO of MSDUK says: “Innovation through diversity is set to power the UK economy over the next decade – this is the mantra behind this year’s Conference and Awards. It’s great to bring the event outside of London this year, and Birmingham is the perfect place for us. For over 10 years, MSDUK have been dedicated to improving diversity in entrepreneurship and driving inclusive procurement. We believe that supplier diversity is an economic and moral imperative. Innovation comes from a diversity of perspectives, so when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve.



The highlight of this two-day event was the eagerly-awaited awaited finale of the MSDUK 2018 Innovation Challenge, with 12 of the most innovative entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to investors and supply chain experts.


This year’s finalists are: 


  • Polipop (formerly Withlula), makes the first safely-flushable and biodegradable sanitary products
  • ThingTtrax, which specialises in Internet of Things manufacturing machines and brings disconnected machines online
  • RAB-Microfluidics, the company which downscales whole laboratory protocols onto a glass microchip
  • Hello Daisy Life, which provides set top boxes and networks for the elderly
  • The Cheeky Panda, which connects carbon neutral, ultra-sensitive healthy bamboo tissue products
  • Medixus, a company which connects healthcare workers across Africa
  • Twipes, which manufactures the world’s only truly flushable wipes
  • Zingr, which provides financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked in developing countries;
  • Audiowings, the specialist in smart headphones for workouts
  • Envirup, a company which provides insulated sidings systems for difficult-to-insulate homes
  • VR:Calm offering virtual reality app for dementia sufferers
  • Mother Nature’s making refreshing drinks that are inspired by flavours from a diverse range of cultures






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