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Student-driven Initiatives

With an emphasis on reducing poverty around the globe, the Center supports innovative, student-led initiatives that emphasize community engagement and implementation of practical solutions.

The UC Davis Blum Center provides mentoring, logistics and funding support for  student-led initiatives and projects. We support teams entering competitions that emphasize social entrepreneurship and innovative strategies for reducing poverty.

big bang!

Big Bang!

An annual business competition organized by the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. The goal of this contest is to promote entrepreneurship at UC Davis and in the region.Teams of current and/or former UC Davis students compete for cash prizes, including a $5,000 Blum Center award for innovative social or technological solutions that have a global reach and are aimed at combating poverty.

big ideas

Big Ideas

An annual innovation contest on the UC Berkeley campus open to UC Davis graduate and undergraduate student that provides funding, support and inspiration to interdisciplinary teams who have creative solutions to address pressing social, environmental, or economic challenges. Its mission is to support students’ ingenious first attempts at social change and mentor students as their ideas take flight. By seeking out and supporting innovative proposals, Big Ideas has helped contest winners make an impact all over the world. Each year the Contest awards up to $300,00 to students with Big Ideas!  This year’s competition features 3 categories that are open to students at UC Davis.
Categories Include:
•      Global Poverty Alleviation
•      Information Technology for Society
•      Promoting Human Rights
For further information on rules, eligibility, guidelines and events, please visit the Big Ideas website:

freedom from hungerFreedom from Hunger

(Latin America/West Africa) - In partnership with NGO, Freedom from Hunger, this effort was initiated in 2010 with UC Davis graduate and undergraduate student teams working on evaluation of micro-finance and savings programs in Mexico and Peru. In 2013, two student teams, mentored by Dr. Travis Lybbert, professor in Agricultural Resource Economics at UC Davis, began working on evaluating the impact of mobile technology on finance and savings programs supported by Freedom from Hunger in Benin/Burkina Faso and Ecuador.   More...

Share the Harvest

(global) - This student-run initiative was founded on the UC Davis campus in 2011 in partnership with Japanese NGO, Table for Two and the UC Davis Dining Services. The program addresses malnutrition and over consumption by providing organic, locally sourced, nutritious and balanced meals at UC Davis dining areas (Gunrock Pub, Silo and Scrubs), which include a $0.25 charge that then funds warm, locally sourced meals to school children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ann prepare lavniAnn Prepare Lavni

(Haiti) - This student lead effort was founded in 2010 by Blum Center grantee, Carolina Tavarez. The goal of the ASUCD student club is to address poverty via education. They are currently working with the Anse-a-Pitres community, teachers and education department to build a library, train teachers in bilingual education, and provide school supplies to this community which is located on the border of the Dominican Republic.