SICO has always been a firm believer that quality education for all is a key driver of economic growth and prosperity. Since its inception, the Bank has sponsored multiple ongoing education and career development initiatives in cooperation with the Bahrain Bourse, the CFA Society, the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF).
Each year, a large number of young Bahrainis graduate from local and international institutions and enter the job market. For many the competitive landscape can be daunting, which is why SICO also strives to help new graduates enhance their career prospects through a number of initiatives that focus on building leadership skills and improving financial literacy.
In 2022, SICO launched the “Women in Investment (WIM)” Programme in partnership with CFA Society Bahrain. The overarching objective of the programme is to develop a pipeline of female investment professionals in Bahrain.The proposed programme aims to enhance the skillset of graduates and professionals in the finance sector through a full range of training courses that include soft skills, business fundamentals, and investment workshops. An internship programme is also being developed to provide participants with an opportunity for on-the-job training and development. All training will be delivered by the Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance (BIBF) as the knowledge partner.
SICO launched a Financial Literacy Summer Camp in 2022 in partnership with BIBF and the Royal Humanitarian Foundation (RHF). The unique financial literacy programme, which was designed to incorporate both gamification and field trips, successfully wrapped up with 30 graduates and proved to be not only fun, but also incredibly effective. It gave teens between the ages of 13 and 18 the opportunity to acquire basic financial skills early in life so that they can develop healthy habits as adults and use money intelligently.
SICO continues to support Bahrain Bourse’s TradeQuest Program, a competitive financial simulation that provides university and high school students with real-life experiences simulating local and international financial markets. Participants form investment teams made up of seven to eight members who are given virtual portfolios worth BD 500 thousand and USD 4 million to invest in companies listed on the Bahrain Bourse and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Students trade on both markets during specified trading sessions via an electronic trading platform on the BHB and Stock Trak Websites. Teams are provided with mentors and evaluated based on presentation and the financial performance of their portfolio.
The Bank also lends its support to Bahrain’s flagship educational programs, including the Al Mabarrah Al Khalifia Foundation and the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP), which it has contributed to for the past 17 years. The CPISP is a program established by Bahrain’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and operated through funding by the Crown Prince, as well as a number of local and international sponsors. The program seeks to support talented individuals in their academic journey. Since it first began working with CPISP, SICO has supported more than 150 scholars in pursuing higher education degrees at some of the world’s leading educational institutions.
SICO proudly sponsors the Ibn Khuldoon National School’s Annual Model United Nations Conference which brings together students to roleplay as UN delegates and simulate UN committees. MUN participants significantly improve their leadership, public speaking, teamwork, and negotiation skills, while also expanding their knowledge of current global issues. This year’s conference was hailed as a great success, with 341 students from 20 different schools across the Kingdom of Bahrain.