Deloitte and Princess Nourah University driving digital and financial empowerment women in Saudi Arabia
In December, Princess Nourah University (PNU) and Dublin City University (DCU) students participated in a Financial Literacy Hackathon sponsored and mentored by the Deloitte Digital Center (DDC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The hackathon is part of wider collaboration between Deloitte and PNU on supporting programs in Finance and Business Administration –targeted at financial literacy improvement amongst Saudi Women.
Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the theme of the hackathon was: “The Role of Financial Education in the Empowerment and Inclusion of Women in Saudi Arabia.” The Hackathon also supports Deloitte’s ‘WorldClass’ program which will aim to impact more than 50 Million Futures through education and skills-building by the year 2030, with 200,000 targeted in the Middle East region,.
Deloitte mentors and PNU/DCU team assisted the 40 undergrad and graduate students with digitization of their concepts from idea generation, design of solutions, customization to the Saudi market and final pitches, ensuring that the students projects achieved a mature digital level. The Deloitte mentors were selected with complimentary backgrounds including finance, digital transformation, user experience, user interface design UX UI design, Robotic process automation RPA, and business administration.
“I truly believe that liberty for a woman comes from the ability to make financial decisions for her life and believe that the solution to this problem lies in the hands of our people, if we have the right tools and the will. The PNU/DCU Student Collaboration is a prime example of that belief in action. Using the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the students have showcased how innovative educational solutions can be used to address this issue in both a higher education setting and in the wider community,“ said H.R.H Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Ambassador to the US.
“It was a pleasure collaborating with Princess Nourah University and Dublin City University on mentoring 40 future business leaders in their drive to come up with digital solutions that are customized to the KSA market,” said Rushdi Duqah, Customer and Marketing Leader, Consulting, Deloitte Middle East. “The ideas the students brought forth showed creativity and a real understanding of the role that digital and financial education can play in empowering women in Saudi Arabia.”
The students also went on a tour of the Deloitte Digital Center (DDC), recently opened in Riyadh. The DDC demonstrates Deloitte commitment to KSA and the region, and is evidence of the firm’s desire to contribute to the long-term economic development and diversification of the GCC.
“At the College of Business Administration (CBA) in PNU, our core mission is “to educate and inspire women leaders, entrepreneurs and researchers to make significant changes in the business field and add value to the economy and society locally and globally”. The theme of the hackathon and semester long student initiative “Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Role of Financial Education to the Empowerment and Inclusion of Women in Saudi Arabia”, was directly aligned with that mission and gave our students the opportunity to contribute to a very important issue at both a local and global level,” said Dr Ghadah Alarifi, Dean PNU CBA.
“We would also like to congratulate Nashrat Almanazil, Hackathon winner, for her idea to create a podcast channel that aims to increase the financial literacy levels of stay-at-home women through digital channels. These types of ideas are in line with the UN’s Sustainable Goals 4 and 5 and can really make a palpable difference in financial education,” added Neal Beevers, Partner, Consulting, Deloitte Middle East.
Our collaboration with PNU also included the participation of Rana Ghandour Salhab, Deloitte Middle East Talent & Communications partneraskeynote speaker during the ‘Rethink your career and the workplace’ event where she discussed the potential of women empowerment in the Saudi workforce, and opportunities to grow women’s digital and professional skills.