Get ready to apply now

Please make sure you are eligible to enter by reviewing the full eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions and then, if you are eligible, tick the box below.
Remember, on the Resources page we have lots of advice to help you submit your application including a glossary of business vocabulary and concepts.
I am or the majority of the group are now 18-30 years old.
I will or the majority of the group will be 18-30 years old on June 30, 2021.
My idea or enterprise is within the creative industries.
I aim to create or already am creating positive social impact through my enterprise.
I own a material share in the business, and am responsible or share responsibility for its direction and leadership.
I am legally resident in the UK until at least June 30, 2022.
If applying as a group, we will all be legally resident in the UK until at least June 30, 2022.
DBACE applications are now closed.
Stay tuned and see next steps.

Frequently asked questions

Application process

Q: How do I apply?
A: You can apply by completing the application form online.
Q: Can I submit more than one application?
A: No, unfortunately we can only accept one application per applicant.
Q: I can’t answer all the questions?
A: As applicants will be coming from a range of starting points, we understand that some respondents will be further ahead than others in being able to answer some of the questions. Don’t worry, just fill in as much as you can according to what is relevant and where you are at with your creative enterprise.
Q: I have a question about the application, who can I speak to?
A: Contact Please also see the listings of information sessions which include webinars and face-to-face meetings.
Q: What sort of supporting materials should be submitted?
A: In the online application, we ask for an elevator video pitch where you get to tell us about yourself and your idea or enterprise. The video should be between 30-60 seconds and is a brief persuasive speech or presentation that is used to spark interest in you and your idea.  We also request an image which we can post when announcing shortlisters.
Q: Are my ideas kept confidential?
A: We don’t share full details of your application publicly. Your full application will only be seen by the judging panel, MeWe360 team and staff at Deutsche Bank. However, we may share more widely (e.g. on our website), a summary of the description of your idea/enterprise as well as the image and pitch video you submit online. If there is any information in your application which you are particularly concerned about please advise our team via email:
Q: Will it work against me if I haven’t actually started running my business as opposed to someone who’s been running their business for a while?
A: No, not at all. We are interested in finding high potential rather than the finished product. As long as you and your idea are compelling, and we believe that DBACE can add genuine value to the development of your enterprise, it doesn’t matter whether you are at ideas stage or more established.
Q: Will I get an acknowledgement of receipt?
A: Yes, an email will be sent to the address you registered.
Q: I submitted my entry online. How can I verify/confirm what I have entered?
A: The responses you have submitted will be sent to you with the confirmation email.
Q: When will shortlisted applicants/winners be notified /announced?
– Shortlisted applicants from the first round (online application form stage) will be notified by May 13, 2021
– Shortlisted applicants from the second round (live pitch presentations) will be notified by June 24, 2021
– Winners will be announced on June 30, 2021
Q: Will I get feedback if I am not successful?
A: All unsuccessful applicants who reach the second or final stages will receive feedback. Unfortunately, we are unable to give feedback to unsuccessful applicants from the first round.
Q: Can you tell me more about the pitching events?
A: The heats pitch events will take place in London. You will be asked to present a short pitch presentation (up to 10 minutes) to a judging panel on a date between June 22-23, 2021. Confirmed dates and venue as well as guidance will be given in May to those shortlisted. There will also be the opportunity to attend a pitching masterclass on June 10, 2021 as well as practice and feedback sessions between June 14-16, 2021 to help you prepare. The pitching masterclass and practice sessions will take place online. Reasonable travel expenses from outside of London will be paid to attend the heats pitch.
We will be asking the finalists to present their pitch again, this time to the finals judging panel on June 30, 2021 in central London. On the same date the winner will be announced at the award event, also taking place in London. Reasonable travel expenses to attend the finals pitch and award event will be paid for applicants coming from outside of London.
Q: If a group is shortlisted, is it okay if only the lead applicant attends the pitching day?
A: Yes. Although the judges like to meet the whole team to understand the dynamics of the project, if it’s not possible, think of a fun and creative way to include the personalities/credentials of the rest of your team. Your team are fundamental to the strength of your business/project plan and idea, so make sure you mention them.
Q: Is this competition run every year?
A: The DBACE competition has been operating for 27 years, since 1993. The competition took a rest in 2018, to review its aims and objectives. It was relaunched in January 2019.
Q: Can I send in my application by post?
A: Applications will only be accepted through the online process.


Q: My business has won another competition, can I apply with a business idea that has already won an award?
A: Yes.
Q: Are group applications allowed?
A: Yes. Group businesses can apply. The majority of the group applying must fulfill the eligibility criteria.
Q: I live abroad and/or my project will take place overseas. Can I still apply?
A: We welcome business ideas that will take place abroad. However, you can only apply if throughout the process up until June 2022, you are legally resident in the UK.
Q: How does DBACE define the creative industries?
A: DBACE welcomes applications from the following sectors – advertising, architecture, art and antiques, crafts, design, fashion, film, gaming, immersive technology, music, performing and visual arts, and publishing. We are also keen to hear from applicants with software related enterprises that support the creative disciplines mentioned above.
Q: What is positive social impact?
A: Positive social impact refers to a significant, positive change that addresses a social challenge. DBACE is aimed at ambitious young people with ideas that will improve the lives of others and the communities we live in.

Below are examples of creative organisations that have addressed a social, cultural or environmental issue with their work (not all UK based). The examples are wide ranging from services to products across sectors as this reflects the breadth of social impact that can be created and the diversity of enterprises that could apply.

Artbox London

Do the Green Thing



Games for Change

Hussain Manaweer

Julie’s Bicycle


Reform Radio

Stella McCartney

The Diversity School Initiative

The Virtual Dream Foundation

Q: I am a commercial business, can I apply?
A: Yes, as long as you can demonstrate how your business idea or service meets the eligibility and judging criteria.

The prize

Q: What does the business support offered to winners consist of?
A: The business support offered will include a two-day business and leadership development training course with the cohort of other DBACE 2021 winners. As a winner, you will also receive a 12-month individually tailored 1:1 business support package designed to help you meet your business goals. For example, support may include developing your business model or marketing strategy; assisting you in attracting and identifying funding; plugging you into industry contacts and opportunities as well as generally mentoring you, through the challenges of starting, growing or accelerating your business.
Q: Can you explain a bit more about the prize money?
A: There is a cash prize fund of £60K, shared among 5 winners. How much awarded per winner is not fixed but assessed on a case by case basis. Applicants that get through to the second stage of the competition will be asked for the amount of prize monies they would like to apply for from three incremental categories of £2 – 5K, £5 – 10K, £10 – 20K.
The prize money is not a loan and is completely equity free.


Q: What is DBACE?
A: DBACE is the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs. Visit the History page to find out more about the growth of DBACE since it began in 1993. Deutsche Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the world.  It has a history for supporting the arts and possesses one of the most significant corporate contemporary art collections in the world, The Deutsche Bank Collection.  The award is a natural extension of this commitment and to Deutsche Bank’s core business.
The Awards are part of the bank’s global enterprise programme Made for Good, which supports the success of pioneering ideas and business models to help drive positive change in society.
Since 2019, Deutsche Bank has partnered with the creative industries incubator and network MeWe360 to relaunch the awards.