IEA launches Breakthrough Prize – £50,000 for your 2,000 word idea on solving UK’s housing woes

The Institute of Economic Affairs is delighted to announce the launch of the second Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize, with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on the judging panel. First prize of £50,000 will be awarded to the best and boldest entry outlining a ‘Free Market Breakthrough’ policy to solve the UK housing crisis.

Competitors will be asked to propose a single policy initiative which would have a major impact on these three criteria:
  • Increase the number of houses built so as to markedly reduce the housing shortage in this country (this can be reduced through increased rental or ownership)
  • Increase the number and proportion of property owners in the UK
  • Be politically possible

Submissions are welcomed from individuals, groups of individuals, academia, the not-for-profit sector and all corporate bodies. There is also a Student Prize which all students will be eligible for.

The Prize pool consists of £61,500, including a £50,000 grand prize for the winning entry, 3x £2,500 student prizes and 1x dedicated school student prize.

Richard Koch – the benefactor and supporter of the Prize – is a British author, speaker, investor, and a former management consultant and entrepreneur. He has written over twenty books on business and ideas, including The 80/20 Principle, about how to apply the Pareto principle in management and life.

Judging panel:
  • Richard Koch, Former management consultant and entrepreneur
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Conservative MP for North East Somerset
  • Mark Littlewood,Director General, Institute of Economic Affairs
Commenting on the Prize, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said:

“Building more houses and supporting home ownership are the two great challenges for Conservatives. A property-owning democracy provides one of the most stable and prosperous forms of society. Its erosion denies people their reasonable life’s ambition.

“This issue could determine the Conservative electoral fortunes which is why we need to seek out new and exciting policy ideas and why initiatives like the IEA’s Richard Kock Breakthrough Prize are so vital.”

Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“Market-based policies have the power to dramatically change the economy and society for the greater good. The capacity and bandwith of Government has been taken over by Brexit for the past two years, but now it is time politicians looked beyond Brexit, to the pressing domestic issues of our time – arguably the most pressing of which is the cost of housing.”

Richard Kock, said:

“In the twentieth century, home ownership went from one in ten Britons to seven in ten – a terrific achievement in extending a real property-owning democracy. And in the 1980s, Mrs Thatcher enabled millions of people whose families had never owned a home before to get on the property ladder.  Today that’s just not possible.

“Without everyone having a realistic chance of owning a home or significant other property, a property-owning democracy becomes impossible, and the “free market” appears rigged in favour of the rich and elderly. I’m convinced that there is a great answer out there – in your mind and imagination or someone else’s. So this year my Breakthrough Prize in association with the IEA is for you to find the answer – an exciting and radical free-market way to make owning a home possible for millions of new people.”

  • Initial submissions must be between 2,000 and 3,000 words long.
  • Deadline for entries is 23:59 GMT on Friday 14thSeptember 2018 and must be sent to Claire Talbot at
  • For more information about the remit and entry criteria, please visit


Kindly shared by Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)