MZUZI (Swahili) means “innovation.” And “innovation” aptly describes the MZUZI store. MZUZI is run by students enrolled in the Meta24 educational program. Meta24 is a highly innovative skills-based curriculum taught through entrepreneurial incubators known as MetaLabs. By uncovering their hidden abilities, ingenuity, and visuality, Meta24 helps students shift away from finding excuses and assessing blame for their past struggles with an ultimate goal of breaking the cycle of dependency.
After becoming skills proficient in an area, students enter the business lab and the entrepreneurial process. Here, students develop a business idea, write a business plan, receive seed capital, and commence their entrepreneurial pursuits. Students are then able to sell their products direct to consumers, online, or at Meta24’s MZUZI retail store. MZUZI is the first store student-run store in Chicago to sell only student-produced products. We believe that qualifies as “innovation.”