The first annual used cell phone and accessory drive, Phones4Loans, ended April 30 with student collecting more than 300 cell phones.
The student-led project, developed in the Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship class in the College of Business, involved collecting and reselling unwanted cell phones and accessories to generate funds for entrepreneurs in developing countries.
"We were able to collect over 300 cell phones, which will initially provide business capital to a dozen low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world," said Melanie Sloan, spokeswoman for the class. "As the loans are repaid, more entrepreneurs will be chosen and the lending will continue indefinitely."
The project received outstanding support from students, businesses, local media and the community-at-large.
"Road 34 and Walrus Ice Cream really stepped up by offering freebies to anyone who brought in a used cell phone for recycling," said Joe Thompson, a student who worked on events and sponsorship for the project. "Several businesses and the colleges on campus sponsored collection boxes, too. It was amazing to see the support and the success it brought to the project in the way of donated phones."
To ensure the project is sustainable, the group recruited the Environmental Health Student Association to take over next year.
"It was a great learning experience for our class to be able to take an idea to a reality. It will be even better to see that reality continue at CSU," said Emily Spencer, a student in the sustainability class.
Cell phones may still be donated to Collective Good via http://www.collectivegood.com/donate2.asp?CHid=417. All proceeds will be credited to Phones4Loans.
Go to www.Phones4Loans.org for more information about the project.