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Fox School students promoting social entrepreneurship through Marketing course

January 4, 2017 //

When Dr. Jean Wilcox first envisioned her Entrepreneurial Marketing course, it started with a piece of currency.

It was January 2010 when Wilcox divided her students into 10 groups, and presented each group with a $10 bill out of her own pocket. The goal? The students were tasked with multiplying their modest seed money by a factor of 10, to be donated to various charities, non-profits, foundations, and community organizations.

Seven years later, the impact of Wilcox’s course at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has left her in awe.

“The best comment I’ve ever gotten came from one of my colleagues, who said, ‘Business school is so much about analytics and numbers, and what you’re doing is giving these students heart,’” said Wilcox, an Assistant Professor of Marketing. “That’s most important to me in the long run.”

The 10-10-10 Foundation, launched out of Wilcox’s Entrepreneurial Marketing course, has experienced remarkable reach: The course has been offered over 14 semesters, and has enrolled more than 1,000 students. As of Fall 2016, the students have generated more than $320,000 of value in monetary, in-kind, and matching donations. Wilcox’s students have supported more than 100 organizations, and have eclipsed 4,500 volunteer hours.

Students have supported non-profit and charitable organizations focusing in the sectors of music, environmental awareness, healthcare, cancer research, education, social services, and animal welfare.

This past semester, Wilcox’s students generated more than $26,000 for their organizations.

One student group planted flower bulbs along Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Boulevard, to support the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. One team of students collected more than $2,000 and volunteered 100 hours for the Travis Manion Foundation, a non-profit to empower veterans and the families of fallen veterans. Another team supported Back On My Feet, which uses running to instill discipline and restore confidence and self-esteem among Philadelphia’s homeless population. Every Wednesday, the students ran at 5:30 a.m. alongside Back On My Feet’s homeless runners.

“To me, their efforts are worth so much more than the dollars they have raised,” she said. “As I told them after class, they are my rays of hope in a crazy world. They can, and already have, made it a better place.”

–Christopher A. Vito