Free Money … No Takers?


FreeMoneyEntrepreneurship students often think they’ve found a “no brainer” idea – one that everyone “obviously” will want. We’ve all seen it before – an idea that is so good that it requires zero dollars for customer acquisition because word of mouth and social media will lead to infinite sales, virtually overnight.

Here’s an exercise that may help open students eyes to just how hard it can be to sell something. Even something as wonderful as their idea. Give each student group five single dollar bills. Ask them to develop a plan for giving away the dollar bills to strangers, in a public place. Have them develop a business plan that includes a target audience, script, etc. Giving away free money is harder than it appears! And if it’s hard to give away dollar bills, it will also be hard to get the attention of customers even for a “no brainer” idea. This exercise comes from the following video which might be assigned after the exercise as part of the debriefing.

Contributed by Susan Cohen

2 thoughts on “Free Money … No Takers?

  1. Seriously? On this campus 2 seconds after they stood on the front steps of the building the money would be gone. The only thing that would take effort is coming up with a plan of whom you wanted to give it to and then screen people for that.

    On the other hand, my best guess would be they’d want to give the money to “students who need money”. On this campus close to 100% get financial aid thus their definition of determining who needs money would likely be answering, in the affirmative, “Are you a student”? LOL I’d have to push them to be more specific than that.

    PS I do get the point of this…

    • Perhaps. However, people don’t take the time and may assume there are strings attached (a reasonable assumption). If someone pushes past, that is a dollar that was refused.

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