In early December, Deloitte Digital Center (DDC) employees in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia hosted young Saudi students from Princess Nourah University (PNU) and Dublin City University (DCU) students to participate in a Financial Literacy Hackathon. 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 initiative, an ambition to positively impact 50 million futures through education and skills-building by the year 2030, with 200,000 targeted in the Middle East region.

 In this blog, we look at the mentoring experience of the Deloitte consultant and a young Saudi Finance student:

 H.Bin Zuayr – Graduate Student, Hackathon mentee:

Thank you Deloitte for arranging this fruitful and impactful experience. The experience was one of a kind. You offered us great hospitality, an amazing workspace at the Deloitte Digitial Center, and most importantly a team of welcoming professional and enthusiastic mentors. The Deloitte mentors treated us like clients and helped us develop solutions to the hackathon theme using the design thinking approach. I really enjoyed this interactive and practical experience as it allowed us to apply many of the tools we learned as part of our degree. Most importantly, the theme of the hackathon “Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Role of Digital Financial Education Solutions to the Empowerment and Inclusion of Women in Saudi Arabia” is a topic that is of great importance in Saudi society. Therefore, this hackathon allowed us to use the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help find solutions to this problem and to make an #impactthatmatters in Saudi society. As a next step we would love to bring some of these ideas to the implementation stage and to engage further with the Deloitte team to get their advice and support on how to do this. We also believe that our work on the UN SDGs in Saudi Arabia has only started and we look forward to finding other ways to collaborate in the future to address this worthwhile cause.

A million thanks on behalf of my country and my fellow students for your passion towards making a difference in Saudi society. We are very lucky to have had the opportunity to work on this collaboration between Deloitte and the DCU/PNU programme.

Abdulaziz Almugairin, Deloitte consultant, Hackathon strategy mentor:

The full hackathon was an incredible opportunity for us to learn more about initiatives that affect Saudi Arabia in financial literacy. We had 9 groups and 15 mentors from Deloitte who were excited to contribute to mentoring university students at the PNU’s Hackathon (on a Saturday). This experience was special to me because as a student I used to participate in similar programs and competitions. I understood the students’ struggles and I felt their fear of presenting ideas to judges, while waiting patiently for positive feedback.

During the judging session, it was difficult for us to nominate one winner after seeing all the excitement from the students. Most of the mentors agreed on one group that was the team Neal Beevers and I mentored, luckily.The team who won received a sponsorship deal to collaborate with one of the big podcast companies in the region, and we can’t wait for their first episode.

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