The Urban Change Lab is an incubator for ideas to change perspectives; Perspectives from people, customers and companies and ideas for custom made products and ideas to start a business. We offer several services from the very concrete realization of your idea for a handcrafted product to the realization of your business idea via consulting and coaching. All in the context of global change and the focus of changing relations between Africa and Europe.
One of our key services is to help you to precisely realize your practical ideas for hand-crafted items. Your concept will be crafted by an artisan in Africa (e.g. Kenya, Ghana or Nigeria).
Watch our presentation at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany
If you like, you can establish contact with your artisan in the process. A positive side-effect of this: not only do you receive a beautiful product, you also contribute directly to economic development in Africa. Furthermore, your concept will contribute to the local inspiration, and ideally be attractive to other customers, who may buy the product you developed. In this way, your idea could become the basic livelihood of a family, for example in Kenya.
The Urban Change Lab wants to make the world a little bit better. It is our aim to turn good ideas into reality. We would like to be a place for inspiration; Inspiration for good products, as well as good business models. If you want to contact us, don’t hesitate.
The Urban Change Lab has deliberately been set up as a for-profit venture. We don’t only want to do good; we want to earn money fairly and transparently while we’re at it.
The Urban Change Lab was founded as an incubator based on the Lean StartUp Principle for fresh business models. It is our purpose to develop sustainable business models and to launch them into the market. Aside from our primary service, ‘Your idea for a more beautiful world‘, we also have further projects on the market.
Local Operations Kenya
Sharon Raburu (Nairobi, Kenya)
Sharon is a recent graduate from Daystar University holding a bachelor‘s degree in Public relations. She’s a dynamic high achiever who works with both Utu House and Mara Moja Transportation. She oversees various marketing strategies and designs while attending to various customer relations needs. Her previous experience with customer relations has contributed to her having a better handling of handling clients (including craftsmen) by meeting their deadlines and goals effectively.
Local Operations Rwanda
Aline Uwase (Kigali, Rwanda)
Aline is a proud young entrepreneur, she ventured into the business world at the age of 8 selling food products next to her mum after school hours. She is currently the founder and C.E.O of TheHappyNes, an organization that enhances better living by offering basic transformational education. Urban Change Lab has been a game changer to her life both as an entrepreneur and consumer of products made in Africa. Aline believes that Urban Change Lab completes the business chain of craftsmen in Rwanda and Africa in general.
Sales, Marketing & Local Operations Ghana
Sandra Ayeh (Berlin & Accra, Ghana)
Sandra is a marketing & sales manager based in Berlin and Accra (Ghana). She hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Marketing and Human Resource Management. She is currently doing her master in business administration in Berlin. She has extended experience in setting up a fashion brand for African fashion. Sandra has approached the Urban Change Lab in our 2018 presentation in the German Ministry of Economy and expreced her interest to work with us. Since then she has taken over the responsibility for the Ghanaian business development.
Social Media and Community Relations Manager
Prisca Noel Waiganjo (Nairobi)
Noel is a creative young designer and writer from Kenya pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a minor in electronic media at Daystar University. She runs a clothing line known as Sapatu Kenya; she’s passionate about fashion and dedicates her time creating fashion concepts to tell different stories. She enjoys bringing artists together to share ideas on how they can uplift each. Noel uses her skills as our Social media and Community Relations Manager.
Social Media and Sourcing Manager (Nairobi)
Wabaiya Kariuki (Nairobi, Kenya)
Wabaiya Kariuki is a budding entrepreneur who recently started her own gym wear and swim wear brand called Wabaiya under the Urban Change Lab. She believes in the empowerment of African craftsmen and this was the driving force for her joining the Urban Change Lab. As a recent Actuarial Science Graduate from Daystar University, she enjoys Data crunching. She uses her skills to analyze the social media numbers as well as acting as a sourcing Manager for the brand.
Founder & Managing Partner
Dipl.-Ing. Jochen Baumeister (Berlin, Germany)
Jochen is a serial entrepreneur and consultant with more than 20 years experience. He has an degree in urban planning from the University of Dortmund. Furthermore he in an educated craftsman in electronics. This contributes to a better understanding of the challenges the local artisans working for us face. Jochen is married to a Kenyan medical doctor who brought him closer to Kenyan society.
Prof. Dr. Michael Benfield (Monmouthshire, Wales)
Michael is one of the four co-founders of the International Green Party movement & has a Doctorate in European Environmental Planning & Property Development. Born in Coventry, he ‘grew up on the tools’ as an apprentice carpenter & builder & was educated at Warwick School, Loughborough, Coventry, & Newcastle Universities. As visiting Professor of Civil & Construction Engineering Research with the University of Wales, Newport he promoted environmental ‘eco’ construction issues. He is MD of specialist timber frame engineers, Benfield ATT Group.
Dipl.-Ing. Sina Uti-Waziri (Abuja, Nigeria)
Sina works for the German Development Cooperation and is currently stationed in Ghana, working as an advisor in the area of Good Financial Governance. Prior to that she was with GIZ in Nigeria supporting the Nigerian Government in improving the Business Enabling Environment and supporting Local Economic Development. Like Jochen she holds a degree in Urban Planning and a post graduate degree in international development cooperation from the SLE in Berlin.
Valerie Baumeister (Medical doctor, Berlin)
Valerie Baumeister is a medical doctor in neurology, educated and practicing in Berlin, Germany. She grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. Driven by the interactions between traders and customers, she understands the benefits of fair trading and the resultant advantages in terms of quality for the customers and the profit for the craftsmen. Her market experience with the arts market in Kenya has helped bring a particular insight into the day to day interaction between customers and craftsmen. She acts as the sounding board to avoid falling into the “Danger of a single story” on a day to day consultancy with Jochen.