Putting Entrepreneurial Skills to Good Use

UM MBA students launch projects to raise money to purchase a new wheelchair for teen

Six teams of MBA students are raising funds to purchase a new wheelchair for a Mississippi teen. "Together4Shambrica" wristbands are available online and at a tennis event Friday.

Six teams of MBA students are raising funds to purchase a new wheelchair for a Mississippi teen. “Together4Shambrica” wristbands are available online and at a tennis event Friday.

Most entrepreneurs set out to make money. Lots of it. And there is nothing wrong with that. When the idea of making a lot of money for a good cause comes around, it gets my attention. That’s exactly what happened when I learned about a class of University of Mississippi MBA students who are pooling their talents to help raise money for a young lady who needs a new wheelchair.

Shambrica is an 18-year-old who lives in a nursing home and attends high school in Walls, Miss. Paralyzed completely on one side, Shambrica is in dire need of a new wheelchair that provides better support and improves mobility. Such a wheelchair can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

When they heard Shambrica’s story, six of the eight teams in Clay Dibrell’s business planning and entrepreneurship class chose to design projects to benefit her. Angela Box, who works with Shambrica as her occupational therapist through the Quitman County School District, presented Shambrica’s story to the class.

“After the presentation, when Shambrica and I were surrounded by students who approached us to ask questions and meet Shambrica, I was overwhelmed with joy,” Box said. “I was grateful and honored that these students elected to take on this project. I know it is a lot of hard work. Watching and hearing the way they interact with Shambrica and talk about her speaks volumes about the respectful and caring people that they are.”

So, there are six ways you can help. All projects are online, and one of them will give you the chance to meet Shambrica in person.

Classmates, including members of the UM men’s tennis team, are selling “Together4Shambrica” wristbands. The bands are blue and red, and can be purchased for $10, $25 or $50, with all proceeds going directly to the fund for a new wheelchair. The bands are available online or during a special tennis event Friday at 2 p.m. at the UM Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

Other teams are using social networks, online portals and other marketing strategies to raise money by selling “parts” to the wheelchair. Each one provides a unique visitor experience. Check them out and choose which one is right for you:

http://strength4shambrica.myshopify.com/

http://shambricas-wheelchair.myshopify.com/

http://www.wheelsforshambrica.com/

http://www.shambricafund.com/

http://shambricaschariot.com/

The competition runs through April 29. A special fund is being established to ensure that proceeds from each project are made available for the proper use, and to ensure that future proceeds are used only for Shambrica’s medical needs.

About Sharon Morris