Scottish Universities Business Challenge Shines Spotlight on Financial Services



Over sixty students interested in a career in financial services will take part in the Scottish Universities Business Challenge that will involve solving real world industry challenges in just ten hours.

Students from all Scottish universities were invited to apply for the interactive one-day event on Saturday 14 April at the University of Edinburgh Business School, with representation from the following 11 universities confirmed: 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.

Students will be exposed to real world industry challenges covering topics such as climate change, access to credit, future skills, technology and the pensions sector. Students will also have the opportunity to grow their networks, with young professionals and experts from financial services also involved.

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

The event is being supported by Royal Bank of Scotland and kindly hosted by the University of Edinburgh Business School.

SFE Young Professionals will join the teams as mentors and industry experts from across the SFE membership will provide advice as the teams prepare to pitch to a panel of senior figures from the financial services sector.

SFE Chief Executive, Graeme Jones, said: “I’m thoroughly 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.”

STaR Network Chairman and Managing Director of Customer Experience at Royal Bank of Scotland, Barry Connolly, 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 we 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.”



About Scottish Financial Enterprise

  1. Scottish Financial Enterprise is the representative body for Scotland's financial services industry, with members ranging from global companies headquartered in Scotland to small, locally-based support businesses.
  2. For more information on SFE go to, follow our LinkedIn page and Twitter @ScotFinEnt.
  3. Contact: SFE Head of Communications, Bronwyn Torrie on 0131 247 7700 or