Just 10 Hours to Fix Financial Services

Scottish Universities Business Challenge

More than sixty students will take part in the first ever Scottish Universities Business Challenge, to attempt to solve real industry challenges in only ten hours

The first ever Scottish Universities Business Challenge takes place at the University of Edinburgh’s business school this weekend (Saturday April 14).

Students from Scotland’s universities were invited to apply for the new ‘hack’ or ‘jam’-like event,which challenges students to consider real-world topics such as climate change, access to credit, future skills, technology and the pensions sector – and try to create innovative and disruptive new ideas to address these society-wide issue.

The challenge is the first event of its kind from Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) and is the brainchild of the organisation’s Skills, Talent and Research (STaR) Network that brings together SFE member firms, universities, business schools and public-sector agencies.

Students from 11 Scottish universities have confirmed they’ll be taking part: University of Abertay, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, The Glasgow School of Art, Heriot-Watt University, Robert Gordon University, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling and University of Strathclyde.

As well as the chance to create new ways of thinking and new solutions to some of the financial sector’s toughest challenges, students will also have the opportunity to grow their networks. SFE Young Professionals will join the teams as mentors and industry experts will provide input and advice as the teams prepare to pitch their concepts to a panel of senior figures from the financial services sector.

Graeme Jones, SFE Chief Executive, told DIGIT:

“I’m looking forward to the first Scottish Universities Business Challenge Spotlight on Financial Services where students will come together to solve challenges currently facing our industry and wider society.

“This is a significant event for our STaR Network and puts into practice their mission of bringing industry and academia together as we look to build and attract future skills and talent for financial services in Scotland.

“I’m sure great things will happen with this new meeting of minds – we might just see the seeds of a solution that could lead to the next big idea for our industry.”

Barry Connolly, STaR Network Chairman and Managing Director of Customer Experience at Royal Bank of Scotland, said:

“We’re looking forward to shining a spotlight on financial services to more than 60 students at our first major event that will give students a great insight into how our industry can make a huge positive contribution to society.

“While finding solutions to the challenges is a key aspect, the opportunity to meet young professionals who were recently in their shoes and speak to senior leaders about their careers is equally important.

“Technology is advancing at a rate never experienced before, creating both challenges and opportunities, which is why collaboration between financial services and universities is essential to ensure future generations have the skills required.

“It’s going to be an exciting event and one that SFE will look to build on as we create closer working relationships with universities, colleges and schools.”

Professor Wendy Loretto, Dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, said:

“From disruptive technologies to an ever-evolving regulatory environment, the financial services sector is undergoing an unparalleled period of change. Meanwhile the fundamental role of business and economics in society is being reappraised.

“As a Business School, our role is to empower students to look at the world with critical eyes. We’re proud to host this exciting and innovative forum where the brightest and best young minds can come together with financial leaders, network and learn more about opportunities and challenges facing the sector.”



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