Turn your idea into reality



What is it?

Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge is the British Council’s 60-second video pitching competition designed to teach the basics of entrepreneurship and how to develop an idea from concept to reality.

Who is it for?

This competition is for young people aged between 18 and 35, citizen of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine or Uzbekistan and associated with a Creative Spark partner institutions. It is for individuals as well as teams of up to four members, for those who already have a big idea or want to learn how to come up with one!

How can I take part?

Applications are closed for your 2021 competition – stay tuned to find out who are winners are!


You, your team and your idea will have the chance to be featured on a global platform during our People’s Choice public vote which collects votes from all over the world. Your pitch will also compete with hundreds of other international ideas to win business support and grant funding. Our prizes for 2021’s best ideas include:

Personalised Mentoring Support

Up to £3,000 Grant Funding

Participation in Startup Sprint Course


1. Register your interest

1. Register your interest

This will give you access to important information about the competition, such as eligibility criteria, important dates, details about the categories and much more. We will also send you regular updates and reminders about the competition’s activities and resources.

2. Join our success sessions

2. Join our success sessions

Attend these webinar which will take place over the course of the competition; they will introduce you to the entrepreneurial mindset and prepare you to submit your best competition entry.

3. Record your pitch and submit entry

3. Record your pitch and submit entry

Form your team, develop your pitch, record it on video, prepare your written application, choose the appropriate competition category and submit your amazing entry.

4. Voting and judging

4. Voting and judging

Submitted pitches and ideas will be assessed by local and international judging panels; all countries’ finalists will also be featured on our website and take part in the international People’s Choice public voting.




Ideas that address the causes and/or effects of climate change with the goal to protect our planet and its resources with a focus at community, local or national level.



Ideas that tackle social inclusion and gender equality or target under-represented communities and the world beyond. This could be any ideas that aim to help those most in need.



Do you have an idea for a new product, an exhibition or a way to make your cultural environment more vibrant? Perhaps you have an idea that will help creative people reach new audiences and become more successful.



Ideas that are based on innovative uses of technology and involve the development and application of new software or hardware.




Finalist ideas take part in a worldwide public voting which collected almost 100,000 votes last year and gave the teams invaluable international exposure.

Participating institutions


American University of Armenia • Armenian National Engineering Laboratories • Brusov State University • Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) • National Polytechnic University of Armenia (NPUA) • Simonian Educational Foundation (TUMO) • State Academy of Fine Arts • Yerevan State University


ADA University • Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts • Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC) • Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University • Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction (AzUAC) •  Baku Music Academy • Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication • Khazar University


Business Technology University • Creative Georgia (LEPL under the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia) • Creative Solutions • Georgian National University SEU • Georgian Technical University • Ilia State University (ISU) • Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University • Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (LEPL) • Tsereteli State University (ATSU) • V.Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire


Almaty Management University • Almaty Technical University • Atyrau State University (ASU) • Baishev University (Aktobe, Kazakhstan) • Eurasian Cultural Foundation • Impact Hub Pilot Almaty • Kazakh-American Free University • Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU) • Kazakh-Russian International University • Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory (KKNC) • L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University – ENU • Narxoz University (NARXOZ) • PI Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System (NURIS) • T. Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts • The National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Atameken” (NCE)


Enactus • Kyrgyz National University named after J. Balasagyn • Resource Centre in Kyrgyzstan of Central Asian Crafts Support Association – CACSARC


Adult Education Centre of Poltava Region • Donetsk National Technical University (DonNTU) • Hi-Tech Office Ukraine • Higher Educational Establishment of Ukoopspilka “Poltava University of Economics and Trade” • Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (IFNTUOG) • Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education (KhMAPE) • Kyiv National Economic University • Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design (KNUTD) • Lviv National Academy of Arts • Lviv Polytechnic National University • NGO Tech Start-up School (of Lviv Polytechnic National University) • Non-Governmental Organization Bureau of Research, Innovations and Technologies (NGO BRIT) • PPV Knowledge Network Ltd • Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics (KhNUE) • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (TSNUK) • Ukrainian Engineering Pedagogics Academy (UEPA) • V.N. Karazin National University


IT Park • National Institute of Fine Art and Design named after Kamoliddin Bekhzod • New Silk Road International Tourism University • Practical Center for the implementation of Innovative Developments (Ministry of Innovation) • Tashkent Institute of Textile & Light Industry • Tashkent State Technical University named after Islam Karimov • Tashkent State University of Economics • Tashkent University of Information Technologies (TUIT) • Uzbekistan State Institute of Art and Culture

About Creative Spark

The Big Idea Challenge video pitch competition is a key part of the British Council’s Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise programme. This five-year initiative supports international university and institutional partnerships to develop enterprise skills and creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine through UK support. 

The programme has been developed in response to an underdeveloped creative sector and a demand for entrepreneurship training in the programme countries, supporting wealth and job creation.

Learn more about Creative Spark here.