When we were given the opportunity to renovate an entire school block, we just couldn’t turn it down. Although we’d previously only used shipping containers, we saw this project as a great chance to go bigger than we ever had.

As so often is the case for startups, we found ourselves in a bit of a precarious position when we decided to take on the ambitious challenge of renovating our Mufakose Innovation Hub just a couple of weeks before we were set to launch our program in the community.

The building at the elementary school we were partnering with had previously been used for storage, and when we arrived on site in early January there was still a lot of cleaning up that needed to get done! Once the space was clear, we pulled out the construction tape and got to work mapping out a floor plan which had previously only been in our imaginations.

The space was big, and we wanted it to serve three purposes: accommodate our children’s class so we could always have their amazing energy in our space; be able to fit the teams from multiple communities at once so we could host workshops and get togethers; have an office where we could host meetings with potential clients & donors.

Image inside Mufakose Innovation Hub

Of course, it also had to be beautiful and feel like a modern, state of the art co-work space that our team & students would be proud to work in. Ultimately, we decided we’d have to take out the existing walls and rebuild our own brick partitions that would separate the kids from the young adults, and the young adults from the clients (we needed everyone to be able to learn & work at the same time).

We couldn’t be more excited by the way things turned out. The main workspace has an open floor plan with a large working table and countertop seats along the walls. We added some glass doors to separate the office, and built wooden dividers to add a few workspaces in the hallway.

Image inside Mufakose Innovation Hub

Since launching the Mufakose space, we’ve hosted some of Zimbabwe’s most successful corporate leaders. And because the exterior of the building looks exactly like the rest of the buildings on the campus, we get to see a pretty classic, jaw-dropping reaction every time they visit our space for the first time.

That never gets old!