As an experimental exercise I gave my students R50 with the instructions to utilise it in whatever (legal) moneymaking scheme they could think of. I wanted to see what profits they could generate. They only had two weeks after which they had to pay me back. Any profit they made would be theirs for the keeping.
There were students who I thought would never take on the challenge as they seemed not to be the kind of people who would easily venture into the unknown.
Yet I was pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction of the group. As a whole the group made 250% profit on the money I gave them.
I think the absurdity of the situation and the group dynamics added to this experiment being so successful.
- Nobody really expected to make serious money from R50 and within only 2 weeks. Yet I think this fact took away some of the pressure to be successful and motivated the students to be adventurous.
- Upon hearing the feedback from their classmates some of the students who were initially reluctant decided to rise to the occasion.
This exercise gave the students an opportunity to experience success in a field many of them had no previous experience in. Secondly it gave them “permission” to be playful and adventurous.
Since completing this experiment a few of the students have continued to engage in various business ventures. Nothing serious or long-term yet but I’ve witnessed within the group a change of mind – to them the world is now full of possibilities and opportunities.
It is now very stimulating to be amongst them.