Today, Design Without Borders operates through our Africa office in Kampala, Uganda and is supported by a foundation office in Oslo, Norway. The foundation is registered as a non-profit entity, while our Africa office is registered as a commercial design office. We are proud to provide high-quality design services to our clients and partners. Our work enables their businesses and organisations to innovate new and improved products and services. With our support, clients improve their systems and processes to grow their economic value. Together, we work to solve critical challenges on a local and global scale.
Design without Borders is founded with the conviction that design and designers can contribute to improving the lives of people in low and middle-income countries and areas of crisis.
Over the years in Uganda, the Design without Borders Foundation has learned by failing forward in order to ensure a self-sustainable African office. This journey has led us from being white designers as the experts in design to our current situation which is a professional design agency run by African designers. We did this through successful knowledge transfer and skills development.
Today our design agency creates relevant social impact in Africa and has the potential for scaling beyond the African continent. We believe that self-sustainability requires an autonomous local board and co-ownership by the employees of that office.
We are in the transition from being a grant and donation funded organisation to becoming a self-sustainable design agency. With our objectives we have to find a good balance between non-profit work and for-profit services/activities. Doing good and also making enough profit to allow us to do what we believe in.
Based on this, we have organised ourselves and our work in the following areas:
Design Consulting and DwB Ideas (inhouse innovation & problem solving) has to be profitable to ensure self-sustainability, co-fund design capacity building and enable future scaling.
Design capacity development and research and development projects are mainly to be funded via grants and donations. The latter will be organized through a independent foundation.
A more advanced way of describing how we work and create impact, our structure and business model is our map: