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Competition Details

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Entry criteria

The Irish Business Design Challenge is looking for businesses that have:

  • Changed their business model to add value
  • Repurposed or redesigned their products or services sustainably
  • Developed new eco-friendly processes or partnerships
  • Discovered new or more efficient ways of working
  • Invented innovative and meaningful solutions
  • Solved societal or environmental problems through sustainable design

Design for the Circular Economy, or Circular Design, is a design model that facilitates that end goal of material optimisation. To do it successfully, not only must we consider the technical aspects of material optimisation, but also the system in which a product or service sits, and the societal and cultural norms that might affect acceptance of circular business models.

Circular Design Institute

Is your business eligible to enter?

The challenge has 3 categories and is open to the following businesses:

  • Micro businesses with 10 employees or less
  • Small businesses with 10 to 50 employees
  • Medium businesses with 50 to 250 employees

Businesses must also be actively trading for at least 6 months prior to entering the competition.

It is an honour to be able to recognise these companies for the amazing work they have done to transform their businesses into such models of sustainable and circular design. The outcome of this challenge is that six companies have been funded in furthering their commitment to these principles, raising the bar and creating a new benchmark.

Tom Watts

Head of Design at DCCI

How we pick the winners

There will be a two tier judging system.

1st stage – A panel of 5 jurors scores each entry, advancing the best to the next stage

2nd stage– Industry experts will assess the semi-finalists.

Winners are then determined by a hybrid system made up of:

  • public voting (20%)
  • judging panel (80%)

Anyone can vote when the public voting opens. At the judging panel stages, all entries will be evaluated with the same criteria


Voting process


The IBDC team conducts an initial review to determine eligibility.


All accepted entries are published during the public voting stage and the result is given a weight of 20%.

The threshold to achieve your full 20% is as follows:

  • Micro – 100 votes
  • Small – 250 votes
  • Medium – 400 votes

A panel of 5 expert jurors will then lend their expertise to determine who will be the semi-finalists for each category.

Second round of judging

This is followed by a second round of judging by a panel of 3 industry experts. They will determine the overall winners in each category. This is given a weight of 80%.

Please note:

  • The total score is a combination of both
  • The decisions of the judges are final

How to enter

To enter the competition, you need to provide:

  • A summary of your business
  • A short elevator pitch to the public voters and the judging panel, outlining:
    • The challenge or opportunity you identified
    • The sustainable design strategy you applied to solve the problem
    • The sustainable solution you developed
  • Detailed answers to 4 questions as set out in the application form in line with the criteria as set out in the scoring framework
  • A minimum of 3 images per entry in jpeg, pdf or png format