The CFO Case Study Competition: Grooming the next generation of business leaders
Over the last decade, University Education has become far too academic, leaving lots of young graduates unable to meet the needs of business. Companies sign up graduates only to send them back to pursue a more rigorous Professional Qualification, which often involves a regime of demanding case and scenario assessments. A vast majority is battling to make the mind-set transition from the ‘what-you-know’ type of education to the ‘what-you-can-do’ type needed to succeed.
This disconnect is a global phenomenon, but an even bigger problem in South Africa and across the continent. As Africa lags behind, the Case Method and learning culture is getting increasingly deeply rooted in the West and Asia spelling an increasingly weaker competitiveness of our graduates. Universities abroad organise case study competitions to test the global competitiveness of their graduates whilst big businesses like HSBC, Barclays and Coca Cola often sponsor these to position their brands and scout the brightest business talents; yet not much is happening in Africa.
THE CFO PROJECT INSPIRATION
The CharterQuest Institute’s Founding CEO and Executive Director of The CFO Case Study Competition Project, Valentine Nti says;
"We founded The CFO Case Study Competition in 2014 as a strategic response to this problem and subsequently promoted it through CharterCapital Advisory, a team of CIMA & ACCA students formed by the Institute to showcase the global competitiveness of our teaching & Case Study Methodology.
The team competed against 51 teams from top universities in South Africa at the Barclays-sponsored CIMA2015 Global Business Challenge (GBC) leading to their inspiring success at the National Finals held at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE); going on to represent South Africa at the global finals in Europe against 25 top teams from different Universities & Business Schools in 25 countries around the world, producing a top 3 finish for the Future Business Leader category.
The Institute now seeks to share their experience by leading a Case Study Competition revolution in Africa to strengthen the global competitiveness of our students and young professionals and inspire the next generation of global business leaders.”
A TRULY GLOBAL CASE COMPETITION FOR FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS
The CFO is an open entry, international, annual and multiround business management case
competition. It challenges aspirants from around the world to work collaboratively from within their University or company to showcase their Accounting, Finance and Strategic thinking skills by solving and presenting a complex real African business case to a Mock Board.
The objective is to advocate a deeper incorporation of the Integrated Case Method into the curriculum, highlight the centrality of good leadership, teamwork, creative problem-solving, presentation, business acumen as well as the value of taking a holistic and strategic approach to enterprise management.
VERY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GLOBAL CASE COMPETITIONS
It is unmatched by the degree of integration of disciplines required to solve the case and its dedication to ‘typical’ real life business issues on the African continent (See the following article, ‘The CFO 2016 Product: A classic display of the integrated thinking’). The cash prize and value of the trophy is amongst the most valuable in the world and it is the only global Case Study Competition that involves the winners being accorded the prestige to open a major global stock exchange market.
Although Pan-African in orientation, the adjudication process is globally standardised with one of the most truly international panel of judges accorded one mandate: apply only MERIT as the ultimate winning criteria!
IT IS MULTI-ROUND IN THAT ASPIRANTS VIGOROUSLY COMPETE OVER 4 ROUNDS
Teams of 3 or 4 compete over 4 rounds. In round 1, the teams analyse an Integrated Case and present their work for the top 12 and then top 6 teams to
be determined. The top 6 then proceed to round 2 to contest the public votes on social media and only get a chance to contest face-to-face before the international panel of judges in round 3 (semi-finals) from where the top 3 teams then contest round 4 (global finals) and the winning team to receive the ZAR 100,000 and the ‘The CharterQuest Future CFOs and Business Leaders Award’ is determined.
ANYONE, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD CAN ENTER AND WIN A TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA
It is an open entry competition for Students and Young Professionals who are 25 years old and below. Subject to the competition rules, anyone, anywhere in the world can form or
join a team and contest to win the right to be invited to an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa (with semifinals and finals being hosted at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Sandton Convention Centre’s Finance Indaba Africa Expo respectively).
IT OPENS IN NOVEMBER EACH YEAR AND CLOSES IN OCTOBER THE FOLLOWING YEAR
The global finals of this 2016 edition, which is the maiden edition now underway, will run on the 13-14th of October and conclude on October 18th, 2016 with the opening of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Market and a University Outreach Programme. The 2017 edition opens on November 1, 2016.
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