Do you have a great digital idea that has the potential to create a better world? If yes, this challenge gives you a genuine chance to change the world and improve the lives of some of the world’s most disadvantaged people – what’s your idea?

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They were founded in 1934 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1940.

What is #IdeasChangeLives?

#IdeasChangeLives is their global innovation challenge to find digital solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.

British Council is looking for people with a fresh, entrepreneurial spirit and a big idea that has the potential to make a positive impact for communities across the globe.

Global Goals

This year, British Council is looking for ideas that help them to meet any or all of the targets within one of three Global Goals for Sustainable Development below:

  • Quality education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • Gender equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Decent work and economic growth: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

To help, British Council recommend thinking carefully about the following before applicants apply:

  • The need applicants idea addresses – be clear about which one of The Global Goals applicants are focusing on and the problem their idea could help to solve.
  • How people will benefit – tell them why applicants idea matters to the people it is designed for and how it has the potential to positively impact thousands of lives.
  • Why it’s compelling – They need to feel that applicants really care about making a difference so tell them the story behind their idea.
  • The competition – show them applicants have a clear understanding and awareness of any competitors who may be working on similar products and tell them why their idea is different.
  • The tools and resources needed to turn it into a product – it doesn’t matter if applicants haven’t worked with technology before. What does matter is a clear understanding of how their idea will work in the real world.

Funding Information

  • The winning pitch will get £20,000 to invest in their idea, as well as mentorship and support from the British Council for a full year.
  • In February 2020, British Council will announce their shortlisted applicants. They will be asked to make a short video and develop a business model to showcase their idea.
  • In March 2020, British Council will announce their finalists who will then be interviewed by their judging panel.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The competition is open to anyone and everyone across the world. Applicants can choose to apply as an individual or an organisation.
  • British Council accept ‘early stage’ applications, meaning they don’t necessarily need a working prototype when they make their application.
  • Applicants don’t need to be working in the digital or technology sector to apply.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online via given website.

For more information, please visit IdeasChangeLives Challenge.



Name of the Organisation
The British Council
Grant Amount
20,000 Pounds
Closing date of Proposal
Friday, 10 January, 2020
RFP Email
Organisation Logo