Makerspace Mentoring Program - Financial Sustainability

As part of the mAkE project, we are offering the opportunity for three makerspaces to take part in a free mentoring program to support their financial sustainability.

The mAkE project has developed an Open Catalogue of Business Models containing 17 business model elements for makerspaces, identified from over 50 interviews conducted. This mentoring program will support three makerspaces from Africa or Europe to analyse their current business model and their context, select an appropriate business model element from the catalogue, and conduct market testing with a view to implementation. The program aims to equip the mentees with skills both to continue the journey of implementing a selected business model element and to repeat the analysis, selection, and implementation process again in the future.

The mentoring program will run for 6 months (Oct 2023 - April 2024), and will include:

  • Regular online meetings with your dedicated mentor
  • Tools to help you and us to understand your space, your objectives, your community, and your market
  • Facilitated online workshops with the makerspace’s whole leadership team to select a new business model element to trial
  • Co-creation of a market testing and implementation plan with your mentor
  • Ongoing support to monitor market testing and implementation, to adapt plans as evidence is gathered and to address challenges that arise.
  • Knowledge sharing sessions among the makerspaces in the program

All of this is completely free to the makerspace.

What you need to be willing to commit:

  • MAIN MENTEE: For continuity, we will ask for one main participant from your space to take part in all the mentoring sessions and workshops throughout the 6 month project. This person should be part of your management team.
  • LEADERSHIP TEAM: In addition, for some workshops and exercises it will be advisable to bring in additional members of your makerspace team. Given the subject of the program it is important to have the support of the whole leadership team of the makerspace before applying.
  • TRYING NEW THINGS: This program will support you to test out new approaches, new offerings, or new ways of communicating with your market. Figuring out how to implement a business model in a new context takes time and the results are not certain. The results from some things we try won’t be what we had hoped. Sometimes, changing course will be necessary. Together we will learn from these things and try again.
  • TIME: For the main participant, we anticipate that you may need to dedicate an average of 4 hours a week, or 2 days a month, to the program activities.
  • INFORMATION: You will need to share information about your current business model and financial situation, plus data collected from market testing, with the mentoring team. This information will be treated as confidential.
  • CASE STUDY: We will work with you to produce a case study (one per makerspace in the program) which can be shared publicly to assist other makerspaces in the future. This will not contain your confidential information but will identify your makerspace as having taken part in the program.


  • Makerspaces must already be running - have evidence of ongoing activities with a community
  • The makerspace must be based in an African or European country.
  • The main mentee will need to be fluent in English.

To Apply

Please complete this short questionnaire. Closing date for applications is 23:59 GMT on 02 October 2023.

Applicants will be notified by 9th October 2023 as to whether they are successful or not.

For any further enquiries please contact

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