Social entrepreneurship students use in-class lessons on crowdfunding to give back during the holiday season

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 10:55

DENTON (UNT), Texas — University of North Texas G. Brint Ryan College of Business students are using lessons they learned in the classroom to help worthy causes in time for the holiday season.

Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship Jeremy Short challenged students in his social entrepreneurship class to collectively raise a total of $10,000 through crowdfunding sites DonorsChoose or GoFundMe for charities of their choice. They reached their goal just before the commencement ceremonies Dec. 11-12.

“Students create and develop the idea, campaign, community partner and all aspects associated with raising the funds,” Short said. “I want students in my class to know that the kinds of research I and others engage in at UNT as a Research 1 school is not just pie in the sky theoretical work but practical knowledge that can be applied right now! By telling students a bit about my research in crowdfunding and social entrepreneurship and then challenging them to act as social entrepreneurs this semester, they learn firsthand about the practical implications of the learning they are engaging at as students. I was blown away by their success this semester."

Coinciding with Giving Tuesday, a global philanthropic movement, each campaign had to kick off by Dec. 1, and reach at least $500 before the end of the semester. Many teams capitalized on the opportunity to give back by starting their projects early.

Bradley Huffman, a senior supply chain management major, teamed up to support Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas. Huffman and his classmates chose to fundraise for veterans because of their military ties and passion for giving back during this difficult year.

“I have learned the importance of reaching out to people from all walks of life to help you fundraise and the power of internet fundraising, as it is very easy to share the word and donate,” Huffman said. “If we meet our goal, we will get full credit for our project, but we can also take pride in knowing we raised lots of money for great organizations.”

Short, who joined UNT in the fall, has expertise in crowdfunding, content analysis, family business and strategic management. Translating his research into practice, Short’s students are seeing the true value, first-hand, in social entrepreneurship.

Campaigns from the class include:

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Media Contacts:

Devynn D. Case