DBACE 2023 overview

The Finalists

DBACE 2023 received over 570 entries from across the UK. The level of creativity, entrepreneurship and positive impact being made to society was as astounding as ever among applicants.

Judges for DBACE 2023

We were delighted to bring together a group of experts to judge DBACE 2023. Panel members drew on extensive professional expertise across the creative industries and have many years of experience in leadership, alongside setting up and supporting new businesses.

Kevin Osborne, Founder of MeWe360 and Create Equity

Andrew Missingham, Executive Director of AKQA

Charlie Blair, Founder of the Blair Academy and DBACE alumni (winner of DBACE 2021)

Erika Brodnock, Co-founder of Kinhub and Extend Ventures

Lea Williams, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank

The winner announcement

DBACE 2023 returned to The Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) on July 6th to honor and celebrate the winners of this year’s competition.

The awards were hosted by amazing Brenda Emmanus OBE, television and radio broadcaster and journalist, and featured a showcase of creative talent and keynote speeches from industry experts, including Farooq Chaudhry OBE, Co-founder and Producer of the Akram Khan Dance Company.

Louise Nkosi welcomed the winners to MeWe360 who, as delivery partner, will be providing support and working with the entrepreneurs over the following 12 months.

Support offered throughout DBACE 2023


The DBACE programme is purpose built so that throughout the application process there are opportunities to be inspired, connect and develop.

Online resources: A selection of valuable free resources included expert videos, a guide to thinking about business plans, resource directory, application tips, video pitch advice, A-Z glossary, and more. Whether the entrepreneur applied to DBACE or not, the downloadable resources were available for all to benefit and were accessed over 3,400 times.

Information & guidance sessions: We hosted a series of events including webinars, meet & greets and, with support from local partners, 1:1 application support across the UK. A pitching workshop and practice sessions were also organised for the shortlisted applicants to prepare for the next stages. 650 entrepreneurs attended these events.

Applicant resources: DBACE 2023 focused on areas where creatives have shared they most need support. This included a financial forecasting webinar, where more than 320 founders utilised the 90-minute advice and guidance session. In addition, 360 entrepreneurs found the Application Writing webinar invaluable for their DBACE submissions. Visit our video section to view previous webinars.

Newsletters: A series of newsletters was compiled with competition updates, tips and advice. To join the growing community and receive the next dose of guidance sign up here.

Application form prompts and advice: Tips and prompts are included within the online application form and FAQs to help applicants respond to each question.

“It was such a pleasure to be a part of the important work that DBACE does, giving support to creative entrepreneurs at a time when support is needed more than ever. The standard of finalists showed the strength in depth that we have in the UK’s diverse creative sector – but this made it even harder to pick out the eventual winners. “

Andrew Missingham, Executive Director of AKQA

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