2021 Building better financial futures challenge

The Building Better Financial Futures Challenge is a post-secondary student paper competition designed to promote the creation of actionable, evidence-based, solutions to current financial challenges faced by vulnerable communities.

The 2021 Building Better Financial Futures Challenge has now closed. Stay tuned for a future launch of the competition.

Selected papers

A top and runner-up paper were each selected from the undergraduate and graduate categories.  

Graduate category

Top: A composite index to measure the financial well-being of low-income workers in real time for improved personal financial management

Author: Ibrahima II Diallo, DBA candidate

Affiliation: Business Administration program, Université de Sherbrooke

Summary: Financial Well-Being (FWB) scores are useful tools for measuring and providing feedback to consumers and can help with financial planning. However, there are currently no easily accessible tools for consumers to measure and compare their FWB. The paper proposes a composite index for FWB that can be used in real time, particularly for low-income workers between the ages of 30-50.

Runner-up: Using financial technology to drive investment that would result in retirement preparedness for Canadians

Author: Adedeji Philip Adetunji, MBA

Affiliation: Business Administration program, University of New Brunswick

Summary: Many Canadians are not investing enough for the kind of retirement that they would prefer. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are one type of financial tool that could be used to help Canadians save for retirement. To encourage Canadians to use ETFs in their retirement planning, the paper proposes that government and regulators provide incentives for investing, such as tax-free opportunities and reduced administrative costs for the consumer.

Undergraduate category

Top: Improving financial literacy in Indigenous communities

Authors: Samantha Kremer and Katie Mah

Affiliation: Science and Business program, University of Waterloo

Summary: The financial marketplace is not fully accessible to Indigenous Peoples, who make up nearly 5% of the Canadian population. To help improve accessibility, the paper proposes the introduction of Financial Literacy Plus programs for Indigenous communities. The programs would include financial education initiatives led by members of the community as well as matched savings accounts to facilitate the achievement of financial goals.

Runner-up: Helping seniors navigate the financial marketplace through the use of financial technology

Authors: Madeline Minnes and Tamar Saskin

Affiliation: Science and Business program, University of Waterloo

Summary: The digital financial marketplace is increasingly more difficult to navigate, especially for healthy seniors (those aged 65+)—a population that will continue to grow rapidly. To promote the use of financial technology among seniors, the paper proposes improving the accessibility features of digital banking apps (e.g., increasing text size, introducing a practice mode) as well as offer in-person App support and training sessions through the bank.


Any findings, views or opinions expressed in the papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, or the policy or position of any department of the Government of Canada.

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