Schoolgirls showcase entrepreneurial prowess as Future Asset unveils shortlist

Finalists from Calderside Academy

A HOTLY contested competition to find Scotland’s next generation of female investors is nearing its conclusion with schoolgirls nationwide vying for the top accolades after their shortlisting to the 2024 finals.

Teams from Glasgow, Oban, Moray, East and West Lothian, and Ayr have all made it to the last round of this year’s Growing Future Assets Competition, which encourages young women to consider a career in the world of investment management.

During the contest, the pupils must prove their ability to spot the next big investment prospect by researching, analysing, and pitching a company they think will be a lucrative long-term asset. 

They are assisted in the process by mentoring delivered by investment management professionals, who share their experience and provide career insights, advice and inspiration, and the support of teachers.

This year more than 100 Competition Coaches from 33 firms, including Baillie Gifford, Stewart Investors and Martin Currie volunteered to counsel the youngsters, with such success that the charity has created a Coach of the Year Award this year to celebrate their input.

Demonstrating the growing popularity of the competition, this year has seen a remarkable 25% surge in registered participants, covering 30 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. Additionally, there is a 17% increase in the total number of schools registering for the contest.

Competition organisers and financial educators, Future Asset, believe that being female should never be a barrier to progressing in a chosen career and the contest introduces senior schoolgirls to potential careers in investment, showing how working in the sector can change the world for the better and give young women valuable, transferable skills.

With more girls than ever before taking part, the judges faced the tough task of whittling the shortlist down to nine teams who will battle it out in the competition’s first-ever live final to be crowned winners in junior and senior contests in March.

Dorothy Hamilton, Scottish President CISI and Senior category Judge for the Growing Future Assets competition, commented: “Judging the Future Assets Competition for the first time was immensely rewarding. The entries’ high quality reflected the effort invested by all those involved. My favourite aspect was evaluating the video submissions, where the enthusiasm not only showcased learning but also the fun the participants had.”

This year’s candidates competing for the top spot in the senior 16-18 year age group are pupils ofLossiemouth High School (Moray); North Berwick High School (East Lothian), Preston Lodge High School (East Lothian); Wellington School (Ayr) and Oban High School (Argyll & Bute)

Hoping to take the honours in the junior 14-16 year category are girls from:

Broxburn Academy (West Lothian); Calderside Academy (South Lanarkshire), Mearns Castle High School (East Renfrewshire) and Oban High School (Argyll & Bute).

Now in its fourth year, the teams have already presented their case in a research report and three-minute elevator pitch. On the morning of the 1st of March in their first ever live final, teams from the junior and senior categories will compete for the prize of being the winner of the Growing Future Assets Investment Competition 23/24 plus £1,000 for their school for the senior winners and £800 for the juniors. 

Afterwards, all the finalists will be invited for lunch at the Edinburgh City Chambers, where they will announce the winners and award prizes to the different categories including overall winners for Juniors and Seniors, runners up, Best ESG case and Best Elevator Pitch plus the new award for 2023/24 for the Coach of the Year. 

Helen Bradley, Future Asset CEO, commented: “This year’s competition has reached unprecedented levels of quality, with a remarkable surge in enthusiasm from the younger participants and unwavering dedication from their teachers and coaches.

“Witnessing the growing interest, especially in state schools, underscores the profound impact of this contest, connecting aspiring individuals with the vast opportunities that a career in investment management can offer. It is truly inspiring to witness the doors opening for youngsters who may not have had prior exposure to the industry, showcasing the boundless potential that awaits them.”

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