Gumball Capital

The Problem

One billion people live in extreme poverty, struggling to survive on less than one dollar a day. Microfinance – financial services including microloans to the poor – has successfully helped 150 million people to increase their wealth, and steadily create a more equitable resource distribution throughout their community. Despite this, microfinance is no panacea. The scope and reach of microfinance is still limited, and millions of entrepreneurs are still unable to access microcredit support. Gumball Capital seeks to alleviate the issue through spreading awareness and raising funds for microfinance through an untapped resource- college students.

Plan of Action

Gumball Capital started in February 2007 when we competed in the Stanford Entrepreneurship Week Challenge. We raised over $3000 in pledges for microfinance loans, and took home the grand-prize for Most Value Created. After our success at E-Week, Gumball Capital began in earnest. We incorporated over the summer of 2007 and created the Gumball Challenge, which was run at five colleges in November of 2007 including Stanford, Berkeley, and Yale. We raised over $3500 for the Gumball Fund and engaged over 100 students across the country. Over the course of 2008, we refined our business plan, developed detailed materials for organizers of the Gumball Challenge, built partnerships with CampusKiva, a Kiva.org project, competed in several social venture business plan competitions, and recruited a number of talented people onto our team. We were excited to receive 501c3 and tax deductibility status in September. In the Fall of 2008, we hosted five Gumball Challenges at schools like UPenn, Yale, Grinnel, UC Berkeley to raise our total Fund revenue to over $10,000. We also launched our newest initiative – Gumball University – an online portal on social-e including a community blog, a self-contained course on social entrepreneurship, and tips on starting a social venture.

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