Business plan competitions

Not sure how viable your commercial skills and ideas are? Want to learn more about the corporate world, pitch your ideas in a friendly way against others and/or potentially attract some serious investors and business partners? Then you might want to think about participating in a business plan competition.

Such competitions are a great way to learn - you cannot lose any of your own cash, but you will get valuable feedback on your ideas while having the chance to win some serious price money. Business plan competitions are run by a number of organisation throughout the year, although the majority close for applications in autumn.

For a few examples, check the following competitions:

These sites list lots of different student business competitions:

As a bonus, participating in business plan competitions will allow you to develop the much sought after 'commercial awareness' that graduate recruiters will most definitely grill you about in an interview. Once you have participated in a competition you will find yourself better equipped to explain in a job interview how you have developed:

  • awareness of key aspects of organisational success
  • leadership and team working skills
  • a market- and customer-oriented outlook
  • the ability to develop a viable business model
  • financial awareness
  • research, sales and presentation skills.

Are you an LSE student or graduate who is participating in a business plan competition? We would like to hear more about your experience! Email us at