LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18:  Anti-slavery activists rally outside Parliament on October 18, 2013 in London, England. Anti-slavery day falls on October 18th every year and provides an opportunity to draw attention to the scale and scope of human trafficking.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
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What is the MBA Challenge?

The FT MBA Challenge is an opportunity for the next generation of business leaders to make a difference. It is comprised of two stages. In stage one, registered teams submit a short proposal of their recommendations. In stage two, shortlisted teams are partnered with a mentor and asked to create a 12-page business plan based on their proposal. The top three teams are invited to an FT event in October 2016, where the winner will be announced.

Is there a specific problem that the participants help solve?

Yes, each year our partner charity/group decides on a problem specific to their organisation that they would like solved. This year our partner is Stop the Traffik, an organisation that seeks to raise awareness about human trafficking. It is asking teams of business school students to help the movement build bridges with the business world in order to tackle the issue.

As part of its campaign, Stop the Traffik is launching the “STOP app”, a smartphone application that will enable people to report the signs of human trafficking and forced labour that they see in their day-to-day lives.

Teams are being asked to convince corporate partners to promote the organisation’s STOP app for collecting grass roots data and then develop the wherewithal to analyse it. If the app is widely adopted, analysts will be able to establish real-time trends on the activities of traffickers and equip those working to prevent trafficking with timely actionable data.

How many people can take part?

The MBA challenge is open to teams of three to eight members.

Do all team members have to be studying an MBA?

At least one member of the team must be studying for an MBA at the point of registration — this includes EMBAs and online MBAs. The rest can be university-level students or graduates of any discipline, but at least one must be living in Europe, a second in the Americas and a third in Asia or Africa.

The team must consist of members from at least two different universities/ schools.

How do I apply?

Email and we will send you a team registration form.

What if I want to take part but do not have a team?

We are running a matching service for individuals seeking to join a team. Just email us to register your interest and we will introduce you to other participants.

When is the deadline for submitting the business plans?

Teams must submit a short proposal by early June 2016. Afterwards, only shortlisted teams must submit their business plans by Monday, August 22 2016 at 23:59 BST.

Who will judge the challenge?

A panel of judges will assess all business plans in September. The panel will be announced before then.

Who are the mentors?

The panel of mentors will be announced after the the shortlist has been decided.

What is the prize?

The winning team will be invited to a meeting with Stop the Traffik to discuss how their business plan may be used. The team will receive a certificate and be profiled in the FT. Please note there is no cash prize.

When is the deadline for registration?

The closing date to register your interest or team is April 29 2016.

How can I get in touch?

For more information, visit the MBA Challenge homepage or email

We endeavour to reply to emails within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.

If you have not received an email to acknowledge your interest in the challenge, from, please contact to ensure that your name and contact details are on the participation list. It is essential to get the email confirmation from If your name is not on the list, then you cannot take part.

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