Grameen America Gumball Challenge

March 21, 2011 | 7:08 PM

Throughout February, Grameen America University chapters across the country participated in the Grameen America Gumball Challenge. The Challenge was started by a group of Stanford students a few years ago and since then, has grown into a national non-profit, Gumball Capital. Each participating groups received $27 cash, 27 gumballs and had a one-week time limit to raise as much money as possible. While this was the first time the challenge was held, the response from our Grameen America U. Chapters was terrific!

One of the many schools that participated was Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. As a student at Bucknell, I was psyched to involve my friends in a hands-on competition, which not only teaches the principles of microfinance through action, but also spreads the message of social entrepreneurship. At Bucknell, we divided 40 participants between 12 teams to compete in the challenge. Not surprisingly, some groups were more successful than others; however, everyone came out with an underlying lesson: starting a business is no easy gamble!

Group ideas varied widely. Some groups walked around dorms collecting loose change, other groups used gumballs to attract donations. Most groups however, catered to the food cravings of college students. Groups sold brownies, pizza, breakfast in bed, and my personal favorite, late night grilled cheeses at the local bar! The group that came out on top hosted “Party for Microfinance”—and to no surprise, students came out in droves to party for a cause! Jessica Anderson from Georgetown University used her team’s allotment of gumballs to create the video attached to this post. We hope you will agree that this is one of the coolest ways imaginable to use gumballs for the challenge!

It’s great to know that not only are Bucknell Students passionate about microfinance and willing to get involved, but also their Grameen America University peers all participated in the challenge in support of Grameen America. We hope the other schools found the Gumball Challenge as rewarding an experience as we did and we are already looking forward to next year’s event!

Nicole Meyers
President, Grameen U.


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