12 March 2021 | Münster

Why is social entrepreneurship important? Why do we need more social businesses? How can we start a new business that brings positive social impacts? These are the questions that Change Lab 2021 aimed to answer. Featuring the topic of "Social Entrepreneurship and the Search for Sustainable Solutions for Start-ups and Companies", Change Lab 2021 invited nine guest speakers of diverse backgrounds to share their ideas, experiences, tips and visions regarding starting and running a sustainable (social) business.

Celebrating our 3rd Anniversary, Change Lab has shifted to a new and larger platform: YouTube, and has broadcasted the event through live stream.

​Watch the event on our YouTube Channel:


Like the past two events, our moderator Shristi Mangal Pal, student of psychology at the University of Münster, brought along jest and humor to make sure the event was not only informative but also entertaining. Following the motto that 'laughter is the best medicine' the event followed a light-hearted approach to help the viewers experience positivity.

The event began with a welcoming speech from Carsten Schröder, Vice President for Transfer, Cooperation and Innovation at the Münster University of Applied Sciences. Mr. Schröder illustrated the University's strategic responsibility and missions in relation to (social) entrepreneurship, community engagement and sustainability.

As the first speaker for the first round "Social und Green Businesses: Values and Impacts", Prof. Dr. Olaf Arlinghaus, Economist and Professor at the Münster University of Applied Sciences, also a consultant and coach for companies and organisations, offered insights into why social business makes us both happy and healthy.

Afterwards, Dr. Tobias Pfaff, Founder of FoodTracks, a local start-up in Münster which optimizes the production of bakeries to reduce cake and bread wastes, illustrated how data could be used in business not just for profit but also for a good social cause.

Our second round, "Intercultural Entrepreneurship: Dreams and Experiences", featured three young entrepreneurs who shared a commonality: they started their own business in a foreign country.

José Miguel Gutiérrez Silva, Co-Founder of Re: ganic, a start-up that aims to drive sustainability and create materials by recycling, reusing and rediscovering organic wastes, shared with us his dreams and aspirations for his new start-up and the challenges as an entrepreneur in times of uncertainty.

Johanna Kassing, CMO and Co-Founder of Cherish Mexico, a lifestyle platform with the mission to create a movement of lifestyle, elegance and pleasure focused on the free expression of sexuality and its benefits for health and well-being, shared her unique experiences of starting a business and implementing German business ideals in Mexico, and how her start-up contributes to the raise of awareness regarding sexuality among women in Mexico.

Adam Bairet Djibo, together with his colleagues from AoA Art of Art, Tarik und Rene, gave us a virtual fashion show and shared with us their origin story and visions about their start-up. By creating personalized handmade clothing, where they reuse and upcycle garments, AoA not only contributes to sustainability and waste reduction but also offers sustainable fashion that accommodates individual taste.

Our last round, "Roadmap to sustainable social entrepreneurship: Tips and Resources", featured four local organisations in Münster who offer support to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Sebastian Hantel Parada, Board member of Enactus Münster e.V., offered the audience tips and advice on how to ensure sustainability of their social businesses. With over 70,000 members globally, Enactus Münster e.V. is the largest student entrepreneurship initiative in the world.

David Makrucki, Head of Business Development of REACH - EUREGIO Start-up Center at WWU Münster. David, who is also a Co-Founder of studymaniac and Regional Speaker at Münsterland of NRWalley, shared with us about REACH, a local start-up incubator in Münster and its role as a catalyst of a sustainable, agile startup ecosystem in the region.

Anja Overwien, Chairwoman of the Board of the Venture Club Münster e.V., which is a student-led initiative with the goal of inspiring and empowering students for entrepreneurship, digitalization and innovation, shared some tips on how one can start with his or her own entrepreneurship, as well as the support that Venture Club Münster e.V. offers.

Last but not least, Michael Kortenbrede, founder of Social Enterprise bayti. hier and cultural hub Trafostation Münster, startup consultant at Münster University of Applied Sciences and TAFH Münster, and organizer of Social Impact Night in Münster, explained how social entrepreneurship can unite society and shape the future.

The event concluded with a post-event networking session, in which speakers exchanged their ideas and continued the discussions with the audience, over a pint.

About Change Lab

Change Lab is an annual open-forum event organized by the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre since 2019. Originally started as a student initiative, Change Lab is a shared co-learning platform which brings academics, external experts and students together to discuss and exchange ideas on creating positive societal changes and impacts. At Change Lab we aim to create sparks between people from diverse backgrounds to jointly innovate for our society.

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