Mayor's Entrepreneur Competition: Challenges

We’ve pulled together some Challenges facing our city to help you know what kinds of topics we expect to see in each category and maybe give you some inspiration!

Every year, we offer awards across different categories – in 2023, they are Creative Industries, Environment, Health, and Tech.

For 2022/23 there are four awards with each of the winners receiving £20k to start up their business along with expert mentoring from staff at City Hall to get their idea to market.

Scroll down to some of the challenges our capital is facing.


Challenges facing London

Environment Award

The Environment award is looking for innovations to reduce carbon emissions in London.

  • Air Quality – how would you improve air quality in London both indoors and outside? Can you help reduce emissions from London’s buildings, vehicles, infrastructure?
  • Circular Economy – do you have an idea to make London’s economy more circular? Particularly for packaging (e.g., single use plastics), electronics, the built environment and food industries.
  • Energy – do you have an idea to produce more renewable energy or reduce energy use? Do you have an idea that can help make changes to London’s buildings, so they use less energy?
  • Transport – do you have an idea to improve, add to or change transport in the city to make it greener and cleaner, from encouraging walking and cycling to scooters, electric cars and beyond?
  • Water – how would you reduce tap water use in London in our homes, at work and at play and in our community spaces? How would you use or divert rainwater to reduce tap water demand, and use sustainable drainage ideas to reduce surface flash flooding?
  • Extreme heat – do you have an idea to help London’s buildings, people or outside spaces deal with extreme heat events?
  • Housing – could you make it easier for homeowners, landlords and renters to improve their properties quickly, at low cost and in a low carbon, sustainable way? Could you help end homelessness – perhaps through new, low cost, housing options?
  • Meanwhile space – could you make it easier and more environmentally friendly to adapt buildings and vacant spaces to different uses for short periods of time to serve their local communities needs without wasting resources?
  • Greening London – how would you increase green space and biodiversity in London and ensure everyone has equal access?
Tech Award

The Tech award is looking for technological innovations to help make London a better place to live and work.

  • Data centres — what processes, efficiencies, energy sources or energy recycling systems would you put in place to reduce the environmental impact of data centres?
  • Data Privacy Rights and Security – how would you make it easier for individuals to securely identify, audit and reduce their digital footprint, taking control of their personal data online?
  • Smart Cities – The Internet of things is expanding and becoming more linked to our lives. Do you have a way of collecting and/or making data available at the right time to the right people to help make deliveries and other logistics more e?cient?
  • Digital Cohesion for all — could you use technology to better connect communities, address inequalities and/or increase accessibility to information and services?
  • Green Finance – do you have a tech innovation that could help encourage investment in environmentally sustainable ways?
  • Open Challenge – new ideas often don’t fit into existing definitions. If you have a tech innovation that doesn’t fit any of the above Challenges, we want to hear about it.
Creative Industries Award

The Creative Industries award is looking for innovations to make the creative industries more sustainable.

  • Green Fashion – how would you make fashion greener? Do you have a new way of making, recycling, or reusing textiles?
  • Live events making a comeback – theatres, cinemas, music venues and museums, are just some of the businesses hit hard by COVID-19. Do you have a way to help them make a healthy, environmentally friendly, and strong come back when restrictions are eased?
  • Cultural tourism – how would you make tourism more environmentally friendly in the city? How can you make it easier for people to access culture and tourist activities in London in our “new normal”?
  • Supporting evening and night-time workers – is there an innovative product or service that can support London’s night-time workforce and bring commercial benefits to businesses, with or without a 10pm curfew?
  • The new High Street – London’s high streets are changing. Do you have a business idea for how you would change them, use the space differently, update the infrastructure, make them healthier, or similar?
  • Open Challenge – new ideas often don’t fit into existing definitions. If you have an innovation within the creative industries that doesn’t fit any of the above Challenges, we want to hear about it.
Health Award

The Health award is looking for innovations to reduce waste and make the health sector more sustainable

  • London’s Ageing Population – how would you support London’s Ageing Population particularly as they start to stop shielding or are adjusting to the “new normal”?
  • Mental health – the past year has only increased the pressure on Londoners mental health. How would you support the mental health of Londoners?
  • Get Active – how would you help Londoners of any and all ages be more active?
  • Dementia Friendly – how can we make London more dementia friendly?
  • Diagnostics – The NHS is under pressure and waiting lists are getting longer. Could you help diagnose conditions faster, more accurately, and/or remotely?
  • COVID-19 – COVID-19 continues to have a large impact in both the short and long terms. How would you help reduce this impact?
  • Open Challenge – new ideas often don’t fit into existing definitions. If you have an innovation for Health that doesn’t fit any of the above Challenges, we want to hear about it.