LAB is expanding its Africa-related capacity building projects in the field of entrepreneurship

LAB University is Applied Science has started a new project Developing Sustainable and Entrepreneurial Villages through Educational Living Labs in Namibia and Zambia (SmartVille) on January 2024 (LAB 2024). The project is led and coordinated by LAB and the consortium includes seven other universities: University of Namibia, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Zambian Mulungushi University and University of Lusaka, LUT University, University of Turku and University of Dortmund in Germany.

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Image 1. Project kick-off meeting on January 16th, 2024. (Image: Mia Ekman)

The ambitious goal of the project is to reform and develop new innovative approaches and initiatives for entrepreneurship education in Zambian and Namibian universities and for community development by bringing access to informal and formal education and training tools through technological platforms by establishing Smart Village Living Labs in rural villages in Zambia and in Namibia. The project introduces and implements innovative teaching and learning methods by European partners to increase teamwork among students, practical skills of entrepreneurship and to foster better problem-solving skills in target HEIs and rural villages.

Secondly, the project co-develops new and/or existing entrepreneurship formal and informal course contents, considering both generic and specific entrepreneurial competencies needed for specific fields of businesses and contexts.

Practical problem-solving 

Four innovative learning environments will be established (“Smart Village Living Labs”) in Zambia and in Namibia to increase access to education also among the disadvantaged and the most vulnerable groups (e.g. women, youth, people with disabilities or diseases) by offering both formal and informal education through Living Labs. Zambian and Namibian partner universities integrate and develop closer collaboration with the local start-ups to contribute to sustainable jobs and growth and to increase employability. Informal “short courses” of entrepreneurship reach those people via Living Labs that have difficulties getting access to formal degree education from Zambian and Namibian partner universities.

The project contributes to the capacity building by introducing innovative and collaborative learning methods in the entrepreneurship education, increasing digital inclusion and inclusiveness, increasing practical and problem-solving skills of entrepreneurship and co-developing new innovative entrepreneurship course contents to fit to the needs of African partner universities.

Partners visit next LAB University of Applied Sciences in Lappeenranta on March 2024.


Terhi Tuominen, D. Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm), works as a project manager in SmartVille project. In addition, she works as RDI expert in VALIOT project at the LAB University of Applied Sciences, Lappeenranta, Finland.


LAB. 2024. Developing Sustainable and Entrepreneurial Villages Through Educational Living Labs in Namibia and Zambia. Project websites. LAB University of Applied Sciences. Cited 19 Feb 2024. Available at