There are many reasons behind starting your own business. A good portion of entrepreneurs would say that they intended to escape the routine and constant grind of working in a big company. They argue that their creative ability is being wasted and somehow succumbed by the overly long bureaucratic processes, strict SOPs, and complex chain of commands, merely to get their product into the market.

Here are some cases which I encountered recently;

1. Focusing entrepreneurship on the niche in the market

A former colleague of mine while working in Ubud, Bali has started his own business approximately a year ago back in his home town in Jepara, in West Java, Indonesia. Jepara is one of the nation’s well known central for wood furniture manufacturing. Amidst the stagnation of the industry, he saw a tight niche in the already over-exploited wood furniture industry there that could still be exploited. With the mass manufacturing continues to undergo in the area, he saw that there so many wood materials being neglected, a huge amount of excess materials from previous manufacturing. By the manufacturers, these materials were quickly labelled as “garbage”, so their value instantly drops due to its low capacity to be used for production. This is where his entrepreneur spirit comes in. With his product design knowledge and superior woodworking skills, he transformed these “garbage” into fully functioning products that he can market.

Turning garbage wood to a blessing

2. Encouraging entrepreneurship through design education

From my perspective, product designers possess plenty of skills which are pretty crucial for entrepreneurship as a whole. If we focus on product innovation, we will always have the capability to strive in a constantly changing market. The constantly changing society, as we know it, is the fuel of innovation. I was, for some years, a commercial product designer. I have experienced first-hand, working in companies which oversaw the environmental impacts that they made, whether they be from before production, during the manufacturing process and after the end-life of their products.

I simply could not bear to share the blame anymore for the further destruction of our natural world. Based on this, I decided to enter the academic world, in order to influence a liege of product-designer-in-the-making to be more environmentally responsible. It is my aim, that when these future product designers learn the reality of giant industries and see how unsustainable and environmentally damaging they operate, they already have the necessary set of skills which they needed to start their own business and a clear picture on how to do it differently.

3. Making use of local potential and an example of giving back

Another case came from alumni of my former design school. He was a small farmer boy from a small village near Temanggung in the middle of the island of Java. He is quite proud yet humbled of his rural upcoming. Moving to a rather big city to receive his education did not simply turn him to chase for material glory and fame, but rather open up his horizon to what is truly essential to living. So, instead of shooting for the stars, he returns to his village in the countryside and starts his own business. After observing the local material and human resources available in the area, he generated a huge amount of impact in the region. Local resources are easily utilized and in turn, hundreds of jobs are created. This is one prime example of how entrepreneurship could give back to society.

Making use of local resources and manpower available in the region

So there you have it! A couple of cases of falling for entrepreneurship. Tell us about what makes you fall for entrepreneurship, we are very eager to hear from you.

Author: Pierre Yohanes Lubis is an Indonesian product designer. Having finished his master’s from Germany and worked in the area of automotive interactive design in Frankfurt, he returned to Bali to work in the field of sustainable product design and strives to promote design-based entrepreneurship.