The students from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) were set a practical challenge during a workshop held as part of their Entrepreneurship module.
They were asked to apply their recent learning along with their business acumen to add value to some simple items they were given - a £1 coin and an empty paper cup.
Just 80 minutes later, the groups were asked to return and, collectively, had raised an impressive £710 - a sum they have now donated to charity.
The students met this week to officially present the funds to the charities, dividing the total raised between the Michelle Jurd Trust and Lancaster University’s own Forest of the Future restoration project.
The Michelle Jurd Trust was formed by a small group of friends in memory of Michelle Jurd, who tragically died in 2009 aged 41 in a car accident, leaving behind two daughters aged two and four and her husband, Neil Jurd.
It supports initiatives that encourage young people to maximise the benefits of outdoor adventure and enable current and ex-service personnel to re-skill to lead adventurous learning for children.
Brian Gregory, who leads the Entrepreneurship module, said: “Our first year module is very practical and aims to get the students working on business planning, adapting business models and refining business ideas.
"After four weeks of classroom-based learning and discussion, we hold a workshop where we ask the students to put their learning into practice.
“I am always impressed by the creativity and determination of our students and this year has been no exception. We simply ask the students to create value from the very simple things we give them - and give them just 1 hour 20 minutes to do it.
"While value means different things to different people - some could give the £1 away to a cause they felt needed it, for example - most look to increase the value in monetary terms, and this year they’ve done extremely well.
"Witnessing what can be done with so little, so quickly is a powerful lesson - and the group certainly felt proud handing over the results of their endeavours to such worthy causes.”
The students undertook a range of activities as part of their assignment. Some bought goods to make sweets and cakes in order to sell, then bought more with the proceeds and sold again.
Others created a coin toss game with the cup and another group arranged a live performance and danced for donations.
Rachel Diss, a trustee from the Michelle Jurd Trust, said: “The money raised by these students will make a huge difference to local projects supporting young people to get involved in outdoor and adventure activities.
"The Michelle Jurd Trust hugely appreciates the efforts made to raise this fantastic figure, which will enable others to improve their future through building confidence and pride in their achievements.”