CharterQuest Institute - CFO 2020 case competition


Business Plan Creative Ideas

Location (s):

  • Online
  • South Africa
  • Worldwide


The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is an annual, open-entry, and global multi-stage business strategy and leadership-focused case study competition, organised by The CharterQuest Institute South Africa. It challenges university students around the world to prove they can compete at the highest level: by solving a set of complex and integrated finance, operational, strategic and ethical problems that beset a real-world global business in the emerging markets.


The objective is to prepare the next generation of CFOs & Global Business Leaders by advocating a deeper incorporation of the Integrated Case Method into the curriculum; highlight the centrality of entrepreneurial and business acumen, teamwork, emotional intelligence; analytical, critical, creative as well as strategic thinking -in honing their applied problem-solving skills in a multinational context. It is Africa’s much-anticipated annual global event, bringing together universities and high schools, young professionals, finance and business leaders, country representatives, professional bodies and education policy makers for one purpose: to inspire the next generation of Global Business Leaders.

Why enter?

1. Connect with top universities and employers

Many national and international universities as well as recruiters ask us to find top students/graduates and actually attend 'The CFO' finals each year to scout for talents, so you have a real chance to personally connect with and impress them, potentially landing that dream job or scholarship opportunity.

2. Build resilience, competitiveness and differentiate yourself

It will build your tenacity, stretch and teach you how to cope with pressure by combining your normal academic/exams schedule and delivering on deadlines. You will receive guidance from industry experts, adding to ongoing feedback from your lecturer/tutor/coach on how to adapt, differentiate yourself and compete for success - a skill you will definitely need in future!

3. Network with like-minded future CFOs/Business Leaders

It brings together like-minded young aspiring business leaders who may be facing career challenges and decisions you have already faced or likely yet to face in the near future. Meeting each other will be a good way to compare notes!

4. Bring the business, national/global spotlight on your value

This is a chance to display your unique attributes on the big stage. It could see you and your family being profiled in major national and international media, opening doors to many other career opportunities unimaginable! 

Competition Format & Stages

The CFO  entail  an in-depth analysis of a (multinational) business facing a set of 'real world' (strategic) business management issues that need to be addressed. It is structured over 4 Stages:  

Stage 1:  Preliminaries (Case analysis & Reporting)

Over a 60 day period, the teams analyse the case study to produce and submit a Board report. A panel of examiners then announce a shortlist of The Top 20 Teams who are then invited to submit a 10 minutes video (and final power point presentation slides) from which the Top 6 will be announced. In addition to their 10 minutes video, the teams will submit a 1 minute (60 seconds) 2-part Video: (1): Introducing their team, why they entered as well as the lessons learnt; and (2) Setting out their hopes and dreams, including how the competition has and could assist their future career. This also includes why the public should vote for their team in stage 2, in the event they are selected in the Top 6! The video should also promote entries for the next edition of the competition.

Stage 2: The People's Choice (Broadcast & Social Media) 

The videos of the Top 6 Teams so selected in stage 1 then go live on broadcast and social media over a 30-60 day period; for the public to have their say by voting for the best video. The Top 3 winners get 5%, 3% and 1% average weighted score to their credit!

Stage 3: Semi-Finals (Presentations)

The Top 6 Teams arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa to deliver live, their 10 minutes presentation to, and take questions for a further 15 minutes from a Mock Board -comprised of a highly esteemed international panel of judges. The international panel of judges will then select the Top 3 Teams to compete at the finals the next day.

Stage 4: The Finals (Extended case analysis & Presentations)

An extended version of the case study is analysed over 3 hours, followed by a further presentation to the Board (and audience) for 10 minutes. The judges will probe each team for a further 15 minutes on their analysis and recommended strategies and then decide the ultimate winner to receive The CharterQuest Future CFOs and Global Business Leaders Award!

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Am I Eligible? And How do I Enter?

  1. As a university student or young professional at 25 or below, create an online account (it’s FREE!)
  2. Invite 3 equally eligible team members through your online Account.

This Competition is open to Anyone, Anywhere who aspires (herein referred to as ‘Aspirant’) to be a top CFO or Global Business Leader, subject to such person and ALL team members, being at the time of entry -

  • Formally enrolled and actively pursuing, or awaiting graduation from a degree or professional programme at the SAME recognised Higher Education Institution (HEI) –that is, school, faculty, college, university -anywhere in the world and willing to represent such institution; OR
  • An entry-level professional employed anywhere in the world, holding a professional qualification (e.g. CIMA, CA ACCA, CFA) and willing to represent such employer in the competition; AND
  • Not older than 25 years of age; nor a current student of CQ.

Any Aspirant can independently register a 3 or 4 person team, inclusive of a Team Leader and appoint a Team Mentor who can be a lecturer or a senior student from the same HEI (or a manager of one of the team members).


Deadline: March 31, 2020

Program Starts: March 01, 2020

Program Ends: October 15, 2020

Cost/funding for participants:

  • Following consultations with our sponsors, all cash prizes have from 2018 have been converted to Achievement Award Certificates (Top 6, Top 3 and Champion Certificates).
  • ALL prize winners must be available in person and/or in a complete team in order to receive their prize at the applicable award ceremony, otherwise CQ reserves the right to annul or grant such award to the next best team/individual.
  • The round/full trip to compete at the finals in Johannesburg (specifically flight, accommodation, meals and transport) will be covered by The CharterQuest Institute and/or its sponsors. Any expenses not stated here will not be covered.
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