Education is something which a lot of people are hungry for.

Living Lab is a non-profit organisation in Tanzania that looks to empower people in low income communities
through giving training in entrepreneurship and leadership

In this interview, Victoria and I discuss the demographics of their participants, the logistics around organising rural education programmes and why liquid soap production is a popular business idea

Here are some of the key quotes:


“We help people in entrepreneurship and leadership”

Living Lab is a non-profit organisation that works with low income people across Tanzania.

“Training program”

We help people go through different training regimes so that they have skills to act upon their ideas that they have.

“18-29 is the typical age”

It varies, but most people undertaking this part-time training program are in this age range.

“Most people are risk averse”

Lots of people do things that are similar to each other, often for fear of doing something different. The most popular are liquid soap and computer training.

“People have to start from zero”

In beginning the program people have to come up with an idea that they can start with no money. Such as turning water bottles into dustbins.

“No beef”

Living Lab is in partnership with the Finnish government. As far as I’m aware Tanzania and Finland get on well!

“Commitment is the key”

You need to be really committed in order to help change someone. Else failure is at your doorstep.

“People are tired of doing the same thing every day”

We find that the demand for coming on the course is huge. People really want the chance to improve their lives.

“Lessons take place in town”

So it’s easy for people to take the bus into the town and are then able to come to us.

“How to come up with an idea”

This is the most important skill that I want people to understand. We use a number of tools to help with idea generation.

“A dress out of paper”

We gave our students a piece of paper to come up with an idea. One of them came back wearing it as a dress.

“Our own businesses”

Cover the costs of Living Labs. For example, I run a dry cleaning business that helps to keep Living Labs operational.

“Just make it clean!”

Is the best advice I can give for running a dry cleaning business.


Social Media Follows etc.

Website: Living Lab

Lotus Flower idea generation

Facebook: Mbeya Lab

Twitter: Mbeya Lab